Jane Cairns: The Royal Iris connection

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A few miles from the Harlequin Gallery moored on the Thames is the sad sight of the former Mersey Ferry boat, the Royal Iris. A boat that was decommissioned in the early 1990s due to rising repair costs.

Royal Iris detail
Royal Iris detail.

The Royal Iris cruised the Mersey for over 40 years. It was during these cruises that many of the famous Merseybeat bands of the 1960s, including the Beatles, performed. Sadly, today it is in a sorry state of decay. These days it is home for pigeons and the only “terns” on its deck are the seabird variety. However, it is also less than 100 metres away from the studio of ceramicist, Jane Cairns, whose work I have been showing regularly over recent years. Jane’s work is inspired by found objects that have been altered by corrosion, neglect and time spent in the water and I suspect that the Royal Iris has been a significant inspiration in the development of the surface textures of her work since she moved to this locality.

Jane Cairns
Jane Cairns

Jane Cairn’s Work

The forms shown below, like all of Jane’s work, are fired many times until she is happy with the finished texture and colour. I believe that they illustrate how the Royal Iris, as well as other shapes and sights she see on the river, are a major influence on her work. In fact, Jane is about to take part in an exhibition at Contemporary Ceramics, London called “Drawing Connections”. A three person exhibition which explores the interplay between natural and man made landscapes. This, I believe, illustrates my point.

Jane Cairns came to ceramics after pursuing a career in the business world. She graduated with a First-Class Honours degree from the University of Westminster (Harrow) in 2011. Since then she has taken part in numerous mixed exhibitions around the UK. In 2013 she was selected for the Crafts Council Hothouse Emerging Makers Programme and also gained a research residency at the British Ceramics Biennial. Since then Jane has continued to exhibit throughout the UK and details of this and her work can be found on her website by clicking Jane Cairns

The Harlequin Gallery usually has items of Jane’s work in stock, such as those shown below, that can be found on the Recent Acquisitions page at HERE