Artist: Jane Rickards
Rickards was born into a farming family on the Berkshire chalk downs and now lives in the Vale of Pewsey in Wiltshire. When she was twelve she saw pictures of ancient and classical sculpture which resonated with her and have continued to inspire her work. Rickards completed a BA Hons in Sculpture at Cheltenham and realised that her self-expression clashed with the fashionable trends being promoted. Although her final show was successful she ceased her creative output for some years, and instead used her skills in restoration in stone, fresco and wood conservation. She was awarded a scholarship in 1985 to study art and architecture at Il Centro Artigiani in Venice for three months. This freed her creative block and she began carving in stone for the first time and exhibited locally and internationally.
In 1990 Rickards had several commissions and a solo show in Switzerland and went on to be the Post-graduate Diploma student at the City and Guilds London Art School in 1990-1992. She received first prize for her work with Elizabeth Frink and was invited to become a member of the Royal Society of Sculptors. Following this, Rickards travelled, absorbing the art of other cultures and studied a range of psychologists, Jung in particular. The practise of yoga and meditation became her focal point in life and in sculpture. During a self-imposed healing journey of carving the big stones of White Eagle and Warrior, she found the key to the energy that continues to drive her work.
Rickards believes that stone carving, ‘is ultimately all about light and shadow and the courage to keep on digging more deeply when an apparent mistake has been made. There are no mistakes, just the opportunity to find more material to work with – a great analogy for life’s processes.’ Her pieces take time to develop and she has found that it is ‘only after the initial impulse that the deeper insights come.‘
Rickards has undertaken several corporate commissions and has work in both public and private collections, most recently the Musée Mougins in the South of France.