Jane Williams – Five Photographs
Artist’s Statement on Beauty
Whether you find it in the boldness of body art or the subtleties of a watercolor landscape, there are as many interpretations of beauty as there are of ugliness, and each of our visions adds to the whole.
As a poet it’s not easy to talk about beauty without falling back on the beholder and risk sounding … well, poetic … But I do believe beauty is experiential not merely observational. At a time (yet another time) when advertisers still tout the female form as a one-dimensional commodity, when ownership and price tags dictate value, when cameras come with a built in ‘beauty level’ … I’ll put my trust in a poetic take on beauty any day.
I am blessed to live on the island of Tasmania off the island of Australia where natural beauty abounds. Despite a history of genocide and penal colonies, despite commerce ravaging parts of the landscape … beauty persists, insists …
For almost thirty years my main medium for artistic expression has been the written word, but over the last few years photographic images have also become an important part of my creative process. Sometimes they provide the impetus and inspiration for writing, sometimes I combine them with writing to form a creative hybrid.
As artists we try to capture whatever beauty means to us with whatever tools and talents are at our disposal, and then there are those times when beauty captures us. When our only response can be to put down the camera, the paint brush, the pen … To lay down all our tools (of interpretation/expression) and simply experience what it is to be part of the beauty of life. Think of it as a kind of invitation … come on in, take a load off, be beautiful for a while, you might find you can’t help but reflect a little of that beauty back on the world as you know it, as you wish it to be …
Best known for her poetry, Jane Williams enjoys writing across forms, combining creative writing and photography and collaborating with other artists. Her poems have been published in most major Australian literary journals and newspapers and in periodicals and online in countries including Ireland, USA, Canada, England, Japan, Sweden and India. Her first collection, Outside Temple Boundaries, won the Fellowship of Australian Writers Anne Elder Award in 1998. In 2005 she was awarded the D.J. O’Hearn Memorial Fellowship and the Bruce Dawe Prize for poems in her manuscript The Last Tourist which was published by Five Islands Press in 2006. A selection of her poetry Some Towns and other poems was published as a chapbook by Picaro Press in 2007. In 2008 her third book Begging the Question was published by Ginninderra Press. City of Possibilities was published by Interactive Press in 2011 and received an Australian Council grant to fund an Australian reading tour. Her most recent book is Days Like These – selected and new poems 1998-2013 published by Interactive Press. She lives in Tasmania, Australia. More at: janewilliams.wordpress.com.