A little about me.
Working predominantly in textiles, mixed media and illustration, I create what has been described as “weirdly beautiful” little people. Featuring angels and old maids, mermaids, the recently departed and an array of other odd folk, their stories flutter around me as I make. I find myself mixing family folklore with imagined stories and snippets of real things to bring together collections of work. Each is connected in an intricate web of queer events, unplanned acts or simple happenstance.
With a background in Arts Management, I have a long standing fascination of both curatorial practice and the nature of collecting. My miniature contemporary art gallery, Parker House satisfies both those interests. Indeed, I often house my ideas in versions of familiar spaces, subverted with a hint of whimsy and mischief, or a tint of romance and melancholy. The PollyWhistle Penny Museum is a prime example of this.
It is no surprise that I came to be like this. Like so many artists I came from a background entrenched in creativity. My mother was thrifty to a fault, with a truly enterprising spirit as can only come from the great loss of being a child in war-torn Germany. My father was rural English to the bone, living, breathing and telling the tales of the countryside and the people (large, small, feathered and furry) that populate it.
As a child I lived in a world of curious and challenging occurrences. I would tell my toys about them great detail. They would then tell me theirs whilst being dressed up in new and grand gowns of tissue paper and sticky tape. I made planes from off-cuts of wood nailed together, which I painted in bright enamel paint and a post office in a cigar box. Haystacks were climbed and straw-bales raced along, jumping from one to another. There was space to dig for treasure and trees to hide in when called for a bath. It was privileged and idealistic with an undercurrent complex enough to require daydreams and imaginary siblings.
And I could not be more grateful for it all!
Jane Millum (PollyWhistle)