Jeni Ross’ Statement
The main focus of my work for many years has been commissioned pieces. I do enjoy the processes involved in commissions; each project is different and affords an exciting challenge to combine colour, movement and content and to integrate these sympathetically into a specific location. Far from being compromised I see commissions as an opportunity to reach a wider audience, working collaboratively with clients to achieve both their ambitions and my own.
I have been fortunate to work on some fascinating projects including for Lambeth Palace Chapel and the House of Lords. My commissioned work is in theatres, hospitals, a major scientific centre and Norwich Castle; but the most important project for me has been spread over 9 years working with New College, Oxford on a suite of 6 tapestries “Dance to the Music of Time” for the Founder’s Library. The theme of Time and Space that I chose for this work suited one of the major strengths of New College in astronomy and it followed directly on for me out of a smaller gallery commission I originated. The subject has also influenced me since and is something I continue to explore, partly in the small concertina artist’s books I make. I am currently working on a series of smaller tapestries for exhibition.
Jeni Ross’ Biography
As a young student in fine art I studied sculpture and came to tapestry later, as a mature student in my mid 30s. Tapestry proved the ideal medium for me, combining colour, construction, and tactile qualities. I was fortunate to be taught at Farnham ( now University of the Creative Arts) by Mary Farmer who ran the Tapestry Department at the Royal College of Art and two years of intense work launched me on the path I have followed since.
My work involves contrasts and cycles: earth and air, night and day, negative and positive. These are interpreted using qualities of theatre; colour and illumination, the interplay of planes and textures. I construct; through the design process into images on paper and textile and aim to create balance poised on the edge of the unexpected.
I design my imagery through collage and cut-outs layering the painted papers to give the low reliefs I love. Not all my work finds its way into tapestries so I choose carefully those ideas that seem to need further development and translating my ideas into the woven image allows me to develop that whole different language of interpretation.