Jane LowBeerVisual Artist
Jane's Story :
What has made me who I am today ?
The story I suppose can start anywhere, but certain facts are revealing.
My parents: my father, an assimilated Jew living in the Austro-Hungarian empire, managed to escape the Holocaust (although his father did not) and my mother, a reformed Jew from Montreal (who’s brother also died in the Second World War), raised us as Unitarians. In fact I never realized my roots were Jewish until I was a teenager.
As the youngest of three children, my childhood felt a bit like living in a supportive, comfortable cloud.
Adolescence was not so easy – my older brother, diagnosed with schizophrenia, tried to kill himself many times, eventually succeeding when I was in my twenties. this pushed my psyche to move inwards and gave me an awareness that we all live so very near the edge of mental illness.
What made me choose to make art ?
Well for one, it was my best subject in school. And the art part of other subjects is what I remember liking, like. making maps for geography or diagrams in biology. My mother could have been an artist but she did not believe in herself, and I remember her telling me it was a selfish activity. At the same time she was a huge supporter of the arts in Montreal. So my relationship to art was complex and for years, as a maker of puppets and theatre sets, I felt it an unworthy activity; a doctor or social worker would have been a better occupation !
At last, now in my sixties, I have embraced being a maker as what I do best. I have a studio with a stupendous view over looking pastures and forests. Since we moved here on this dead end road north of Rice Lake ten years ago, the landscape has been my source of inspiration.
I feel the world is full of mystery. I do not feel too great about the greed and ignorance of our species. But in my conscience I feel strongly the importance of supporting people who are trying to build a better world.
And of course everyone should try and be better caretaker of our precious earth.