Stretch. Remember to breathe.

 

 

 

 

    

  

 

  At home with her Arabians Rara and Riverdance. in 2006 


My earliest passions were drawing and horses, Leonardo da Vinci, was my hero  and my dream was to be an artist living in a wooded valley with a clear stream and horses grazing all around. 

 

The confines of school were tortuous. I was a disruptive student except with the remarkable art teacher whose support enabled me to take A level art two years early. I failed everything else except English language but was given a place at Walthamstow College to study fine art where drawing was considered the first essential.


It was enthralling. I had already years of experience drawing ponies in the field but drawing figures was new and equally fascinating; the days flew by until suddenly the foundation year was over and I was at Goldsmiths College in London where sadly figurative work was unfashionable. Tutors seldom ventured into the life room, I gradually lost heart and stopped working   


Predictably at the end of the year I was asked to leave the course. 


Shortly afterwards I married Bert Jansch, the folk guitarist and we relocated to a hill farm in Wales where I bred Welsh Cobs. Our neighbour bred Arabians and Thoroughbreds. Naturally I began to paint again and my accuracy commanded high prices from the start but ultimately it was clear to me that I had yet to find my own artistic voice.


I sought advice from Arthur Giardelli, a contemporary artist of international standing. He told me to go and look at a hedge and draw what made a thorn a thorn, not just what I saw, and, perhaps more to the point, to never stop working with horses but find a way to make them mine.



SCULPTURE  the first steps. 


After moving to Devon and sketching horses in the parade rings of the local race courses my work began to change, paintings became more colourful reflecting bright racing silks . I took a years sabbatical and Ibegan to sculpt; first experimenting  with clay whilst staying with Sandy Brown the ceramic artist, and her then husband Takeshi Yasuda.  I also experimented with plaster and later with copper wire which was a bit like drawing in the air. The resultant classical looking pieces reminded me of da Vinci's horse sketches but they lacked the power I sought and failed to touch the essential nature of horse


The answer came in on the tide. Driftwood. It was like a thunderbolt,  I had never seen it used in sculpture but combining it with copper wire gave the sculpture a power and authentic quality that made it something extraordinary. I knew I was finally ready to show my work to the world. As a child I never could have dreamt that it would be driftwood horses that would make my name. Courcoux and Courcoux, a Stockbridge gallery specialising in contemporary fine art, adopted me as one of their 'house artists' and I was on my way. 


An invitation to stage a solo exhibition at The National Trust’s Saltram House gave the perfect opportunity to show my first life-sized mare and foal. The consequences of the change in scale were huge and happened fast; the press went wild. At the time I was the only British artist working with driftwood. 

 

In 2000, as part of the millennium celebrations three of my sculptures were included in  'The Shape of The Century' - 100 years of sculpture in Britain at Canary Wharf. 

 

The exhibition included Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Elizabeth Frink, Anish Kapoor, Anthony Gormley and David Nash, all established leading contemporary British sculptors.  


From there, Tim Smit KBE, and founder of The Eden Project, bought one of my horses whereupon it became known simply as The Eden Horse.


Shortly afterwards I bought a property in a steep wooded valley. The land was virtually impenetrable but rich in wildlife having been left fallow for forty years. Creating a sculpture garden quickly became a work of art itself giving the opportunity to work on site specific installations.

 

It is maturing well and  a selection of my sculptures are always on display.

 

The story of making it is contained in Heather Jansch's Diary .


Tim Smit wrote  this for the back cover:


 " Possibly the most instinctive act of my life was to fall in love with a horse. Not just any horse, but a horse made of driftwood by the wonderful Heather Jansch. It was at exhibition at Eden and the time came for it to go home. I simply couldn't bear it. I bought it and have been fighting off would be purchasers ever since. Heather is a genius with an eye for nature that in another generation would have seen her burnt as a witch - now she is rightly considered one of our country's finest artists. If you were to ask the visitors to Eden "what is your favourite work here? It would be the horse and we gave the entrance to our kingdom to this horse. Richard 111 see it and weep." 

 

Interview: Heather answering questions about the creative process click here

 

 

EXHIBITIONS

 

2018

Deihl Gallery Jackson Hole Wyoming. 

Doddington Hall Lincolnshire. 

Watts Artists viliage Guildford. 

Canwood Gallery Hereford

2016/17 Gallery 161 Lower Richmond rd London. 

2116 Sculpture by the Lakes Dorset. 

2016 Lemon Street Gallery Truro Sculpture garden Withiel Cornwall

2016 Canwood Gallery Hereford

2014 Open Gardens NGS

2013 July Mosaiculture Botnical Gardens Montreal Canada.

2013 Gardens Open for Charity with the NGS. 


2013 Art for interiors Number Twelve East Street. 

2012 My own sculpture gallery and workshops at Number Twelve, East Street Ashburton Devon.

2012 Open Gardens and Open Studios in my Devon sculpture garden.

2012 The Darley Stud, Stallion Parade, Newmarket. 


2011 Devon Open Studio and Open gardens for the NGS.


2010 TAMED. The SPANISH BARN, Torre Abbey, Devon with Damien Hirst and Richard Long. July and August. Three major new pieces of equine art in driftwood and in bronze.


2009 Established Olchard Press and published my first book. 

Wrote, compiled and illustrated Heather Jansch's Diary
Goodwood race course.
Devon Open Studio and Sculpture Gardens.


2008
Love London Recycled, London Zoo. Full size horse in oak.
Open Studio.
Sculpture garden features in NGS Open Gardens Yellow Book.


2007
 Open Studio.
Artist in residence solo installation Arte Sella Borgo Valsugana. Italy www.artesella.it


2006
 Open Studio developing sculpture garden and trail.
Artist in residence Arte Sella Italy.


2005 Open Studio.
Newby Hall Yorkshire life-size works mixed show.


2004
 Open Studio.
London Contemporary Arts Fair.
Paris. Jardin du Luxembourg Life-size works.


2003 
First Open Studio at my place, Sedgewell Coach House. Devon.
Mixed show The Garden House, Wrexham Life-size works.
Eastnor Castle Mixed show Life-size driftwood works.
The Royal Albert Museum Exeter.


2002
 Dartington Cider Press October/November small bronzes.
Solo show Courcoux and Courcoux Stockbridge .



Open Studio. Development of woodland trail and gardens, sound installations, temporary and permanent site-specific installations.


Mixed show The Foal Yard. Cambridge. June small bronzes.


Salisbury Cathedral. 'In Praise of Trees'.

Mixed show.
Art Parks International Sausmarez Manor Guernsey.


London Contemporary Arts Fair.
South West Academy of Fine and Applied Arts, mixed show.


2001
 London Contemporary Arts Fair.


Solo exhibition Saltram House NT Plymouth.


Solo show Dartington Cider Press. Bronzes.


Artist in residence. The Eden Project. Cornwall. Driftwood sculptures for the Warm Temperate Biome and ongoing research and development.


2000
 Solo show Courcoux and Courcoux Stockbridge.


Sculpture in the Gardens Cotehele NT Cornwall. Life sized works.


1999
 Mixed show 'The Shape of The Century-One Hundred Years of British Sculpture'. Canary Wharf London.
Artist in Residence Newbury Spring Festival.
Artist in Residence Appledore Arts Fair.


1998
 Artist in Residence Appledore Arts Fair.


Solo show Saltram House NT Plymouth.


Solo show Courcoux and Courcoux Stockbridge.


Mixed show 'Procession' Devon Guild of Craftsmen.

1995
 London Contemporary Arts Fair.

1993
 Solo show Seymour Gallery Totnes paintings and sculpture.

1991
 Solo show Dartington.

1990
 Solo show Theatre Mwldan Cardigan.

1989
 Solo show Courcoux and Courcoux Salisbury.
Bath Arts Fair.
London Contemporary Arts Fair.

1987 
Solo show Devon Guild of Craftsmen Driftwood Sculptures.

1986
 Solo show Classics Gallery Devon.

1984
 Solo show Plough Theatre Torrington, painting and sculpture.

1981
 Moved to Devon. One-Year Sabbatical.

 

 

1970

 

Moved to Wales. Traditional equestrian portraits in oils and watercolours to commission only.

 

 

1968 /9Trained in Fine Arts at Walthamstow and Goldsmiths College London.

 

Born Essex 1948.

 

 

 

 

 

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