Kia Ora and thank you for visiting
Artwork is a form of prayer, it helps me to listen and ultimately serve God (AMDG). Hopefully revealing beauty, connecting us to the transcendent and creating community. The ups and downs in life do influence my art and stories I hear from others play a huge role in what I create. Listening is central to my spirituality and life, I feel strongly this must come first with all my interactions and decisions. Some days I succeed, some days I fail on epic proportions. But on those days when I'm most open, truly listening and vulnerable - then artwork and creativity flow like a dance of interconnection. The thing I love most about creativity and artwork is not the solitary moments, but the moments when I get to work with others to create, when I get to see reactions or hear stories about what it has meant. Our gifts are not ours to keep alone, they are meant to be shared - God's melody is sweetest when we play all our 'instruments' together. Ultimately my artwork and illustration is about creating connection.
I try to listen with gratitude and vulnerability, then act (in my life) to create connections to our God (of truth, goodness and beauty). The Aboriginal culture has a beautiful word 'Dadirri' which speaks of a deep listening that I feel is central to my life. Dadirri means inner, deep listening and quiet, still awareness. It is a 'tuning in' experience with the specific aim to come to a deeper understanding of the beauty of nature. Dadirri recognises the inner spirit that calls us to reflection and contemplation of the wonders of all God's creation.
You may just be wondering where my life began? Imagine a very young Jane running cross country through dairy farms. My upbringing was classic, rural down to earth, small town New Zealand. I grew up within a multicultural family (Maltese Mother and 5th generation Kiwi/ English Father). I believe strongly in what Jesus said about how we must "seek and find", to be curious, to seek joy and enjoy life. Cartoons were an early favourite pastime, and I have sketched for as long as I can remember. As I have grown, so has my artwork and it continues to be a work in progress. I have always been drawn to sketching with pen and pencil; enjoying the simplicity and the flexibility. Paint, paper, canvas and wood are also my common choices as I continue to experiment with digital media.
Through God's grace I have been very blessed to have had many international adventures including living and traveling around the world (including Snowboard instructing for 7 back to back winters). My passion for the outdoors and the environment further fuels my creative process. I studied Graphic Design after High School and worked as a commercial Graphic Designer and Illustrator for a number of years. I also operated my own design business for about 9 years. During this time I completed several commission based projects and have also sold many personal artwork pieces. My employment base was mostly within the commercial design industry from 1999 - 2015. Including operating designjane Ltd. as a full time freelance designer and artist from 2007 - 2015 (working with a world wide client base). I also completed commissions for graphic design and fine art based projects as part of my SOSJ noviciate (2015 - 2018).
On 13th January 2018, I professed vows and became a Sister of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart. I feel strongly called to live a life of service and connection.
The journey of consecrated life is indeed a counter cultural choice. Sure, my life journey has been blessed and equally far from perfect. Tragedy strikes in many forms; the earthquakes in Christchurch in 2011 really did rock my world and when paired with other personal events my perspective on life certainly changed, grace opened my heart. My life and faith are a continual daily listening to God in gratitude and continual surrender. I believe that God is found in truth, goodness and beauty.
Artwork is something I have created since childhood to spread joy and connection. Creativity / artwork is a tool that I try to use to serve God, to hopefully connect us to the transcendent and create community. I am hoping you can join me in solidarity as I live life as a Sister of St Jospeh of the Sacred Heart. Every one is welcome here. Everyone is included no matter your sexuality, race, age, history. Everyone is welcome.
I have been in full time ministry in a High School in Sydney (Pastoral Care and Design) for three years (2018 - 2020) and am now in the process of moving back to New Zealand in 2021 (location and ministry is in discernment). I am particularly interested in continuing to work with schools to develop artwork; collaborating with students and staff to create a visual story of how God is alive in their community today. We never journey alone, artwork is community. I pray we listen together, and that our lives may be a sweet symphony played through deep listening.
"That is why artists, the more conscious they are of their “gift”, are led all the more to see themselves and the whole of creation with eyes able to contemplate and give thanks, and to raise to God a hymn of praise. This is the only way for them to come to a full understanding of themselves, their vocation and their mission." ~ Saint Pope John Paul II
Thank you for listening and traveling with me today.