Q & A with artist Jane Coffey

Q & A with artist Jane Coffey

Jane has created an artwork which will be installed into the windows of Aspects in Kings Park for this years Kings Park Festival. We sat down to pick her brains on how she approached this latest project of hers.
 
What is the inspiration this year?
The theme for the festival this year is ‘Perth’s Green Heart’. Although Kings Park is located within Perth City, it does not exist in isolation. If Kings Park is Perth’s heart, all the remnant bushland areas and regional areas serve as the arteries and essential parts of the complete eco system. The black cockatoos that visit the Kings Park visit the wheatbelt to breed, some rely on nesting sites located around the metro area. If we do not look after these areas then we will have reduced numbers of wildlife visiting the park. Kings Park conduct research and collect seeds throughout our regions, I think it’s important to recognise this wider reach of Kings Park’s scientific work. We are lucky to have a park that allows to explore these regions without having to leave the metro area - I think this was even more important when travel restrictions were in place.
 
How do you develop the artwork?
I always spend a few days researching what plants I want to feature. This year I had to visit the park and identify the key regional areas shown within the Botanic Gardens. I couldn’t feature them all but I wanted to get a flavour of the majority of them. I take many reference photos and start to play around in my sketchbook.

I try to be playful and create different compositions each year. I thought creating circles of regions would work well. I started with using ink to explore a representation of Kings Park bushland first. We’ve travelled throughout WA and I used many of the photos and experiences as reference for the other regions while at the same time checking what is featured within the Botanic Gardens.
 
How is the design applied to the window?
The initial sketches get scanned into the computer. We use vinyl to apply the artwork to the window so most of the work is sketched in black ink then converted to a vector format on the computer. Once the design is finalised we cut the vinyl out of sheets in our workshop in Midland. The design has to be separated into smaller parts in order to make it easier to install. Creating the design can take as long as creating the production files! I also have to create an installation map so that Adam doesn’t get too much of a headache figuring out what goes where.
 
When will the illustration be installed?
The festival opens 1st September, we will be installing it a few days before if you want to see us in action!