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Associate Member
Dr Janette Kerr

Janette Kerr PRWA (Current President of the RWA) is a visual artist working primarily with drawing and painting, and a Visiting Research Fellow in Fine Art at the University of the West of England. She completed a practice-based Fine Art PhD in 2005 at UWE. Exhibiting nationally and internationally, her paintings are held in private and public collections. Drawn to extreme perimeters of land, her work is an index of edges and ledges, exposed headlands and wind-swept seas. Walking is integral to her process of making/collecting images for paintings.

Kerr is currently working on a research and development project concerning the interface between art and science, related to history and narratives of the sea around the Shetland Islands. Her work seeks to make direct visual associations between observational, experiential fieldwork, archival and oral research, and oceanographic measurement.

Engaging in open dialogues with Norwegian mathematicians and scientists studying the unpredictability of waves and wind – oceanographers searching the oceans for extreme waves, with Shetland fishermen who know their sea and coastline intimately, and tell tales of storms, massive waves and near escapes, and from delving into the archives for old documents and artifacts relating to fishing, she has amassed a kind of "non-intentional" personal archive.

The project has lead to consideration of the process of translation at work between place and making art - whether the process of drawing and painting transcends observation of a place; whether memory and interpretation of that place is affected by the act of drawing – and to consider the impact of all this ‘new knowledge” upon production of artwork. Does such immersion in a place, mean that what is subsequently drawn and painted becomes based less on what is seen and more on what one thinks is known, or wants and imagines to be there?

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