Artist Chat – Janna van Hasselt
While the Gallery remains closed at alert Level Three, we have decided to continue our lockdown artist conversations and bring a splash of colour to your day with Janna van Hasselt. Janna is a Christchurch-based ceramic and installation artist. As the winner of the ZAFAA20 Premier Award, Janna had the opportunity to create a solo-exhibition at Ashburton Art Gallery earlier this year. Entitled Chromasill, Janna’s brightly coloured ceramic masterpieces transformed the gallery space into a playful, bright, and enticing visual smorgasbord. Our visitors, young and old, were utterly captivated by the imaginative and somewhat nerve-racking experience of the show.
Image Credit: Janna van Hasselt. Chromasill, 2021, installation view. Supplied by Ashburton Art Gallery
While in lockdown in her home studio, Janna has enjoyed spending quality time with her gorgeous, if sometimes rambunctious girls, who are aged three and six. The two children are keen to assist Janna with her art and can often be found sitting alongside her in her studio. In some Chromasill artworks, you could spy a child-sized fingerprint, where one of the girls added their own artistic signature to their mother’s work. It is true that Janna’s work evokes the want to touch, as the ceramics are curious, tactile forms that ooze and topple before the viewer.
At present, Janna has turned her attention to creating new work for a show in October, which will be exhibited at Gallery Thirty Three, in Wanaka. The moments Janna spends in the studio are described as blissful and grounding. Below, you can see Janna’s busy studio space with some of our favourite Chromasill objects housed on the far wall.
Image Credit: Janna’s Home Studio. Supplied August 2021.
Creativity extends into the home, where Janna and the girls have been conducting science experiments in the kitchen. The most noteworthy was their attempt at honeycomb, and the arrival of some unexpected, winged guests. Enticed by the sweet scent of warm honey, half a dozen honeybees arrived in the kitchen. It sounds like quite a memorable adventure!
During the course of Chromasill, Janna created a series of fine, intricate ceramic wall sculptures for our Gallery shop. The works have been a crowd favourite and coveted by staff. Below is a picture of our team member Hannah’s Gleam adorning her wall.
Janna van Hasselt, Gleam, 2021. Image supplied by Hannah Crichton.
If you would like to purchase anything from the Gallery shop, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will be in touch as soon as we have access to our store once more.
To read the review of Chromasill by art writer and critic Grant Banbury, click here.