Meet the Artist – Jennie Gilling
We have some fabulous workshop artists at Arts Together, in this short series of
‘Meet the Artist’ interviews we’re finding out more about their inspirations, art practices and their work with us over the years. We asked them to choose from a selection of questions to answer…
First up, let’s meet Jennie Gilling. Tell us about yourself and your art practice.
I live in Warminster and for the past 35 years have worn more than two hats in my working life but the principal ones are artist and gardener. My main art form is that of cyanotype which uses the sun to develop papers and fabric that I have coated with sensitive chemicals, making blue prints like x-rays. It was invented in 1842 by the mathematician William Herschel. I tend to use plant forms and it is a neat connection with one of those other hats!
How long have you been working with Arts Together and what is your favourite/ most memorable project you’ve done with our members? I began teaching with Arts Together in February 2018 at Pewsey and it was a concertina book about the weather with pages about the different elements. The theme became a reality with blizzards preventing the first class and each session had the corresponding climate, with the last day (about the sun) being so hot all the doors were flung open!
What’s your favourite colour? What do you think that says about you?
You would expect me to say blue but I think it has to be the green that the young Oak leaves are when they first open out which is a bright olive-brown. Oh I suppose it says I am full of the joys of Spring when I see that colour, knowing there is lushness to come after the winter.
What inspires you, do you have a favourite artist or movement? I really do love seeing the use of text and calligraphy in art – Also, I used to make a lot of handmade paper and like handmade books, stitch and textures.
Do you have a favourite walk? From the centre of Warminster, there is a circular walk up Cop Heap, across a field and then up through the Beech and Sycamore Woods at Arne Hill Down. This will be soon beautiful once the leaves turn. From there, it is around the edge of the golf course to a view point over the three hills near Warminster, each having a hill fort and Tumuli on it, as well as medieval strip lynchets. Fantastic!
A really important question….biscuits- dunk or not to dunk? No hesitation – dunk.
Have you always been creative? Yes. Always drawn, always painted and making, making. Both brothers went to art college and so did my mother so I guess you could say it is in the blood but we were encouraged because we had fewer toys and it was an era of simpler pleasures.