Spring comes and goes,
Deep in fallen flowers and streams.
People are unaware
Of all the immortals around them.
Daoism is the philosophy of Dao, the eternal Way of nature. Daoists encourage a deep respect for the natural world and its cycles of growth and destruction. To become an immortal, one must live in harmony with the Way. Hence, some sages consider plants and animals to be closer to Dao than humans could ever be.
This project emerged out of an encounter with Daoist-inspired poetry. I work in charcoal, an appropriate medium given its connection to the natural cycle. I will also be presenting a short stop-motion animation film, based on a poem by Bai Juyi.
My artistic practice normally begins as an engagement with philosophical ideas, but at a certain point the work seems to take on a life of its own. Creation is a mysterious process: one must constantly be open to new directions and unexpected revelations. I am currently working in charcoal, a stark, prehistoric medium. I enjoy how this crude medium allows me to explore the intersection between brute material mark-making, and the emergence of meaning and beauty.
Originally from South Africa, Janice Deary is now based in Newburgh, Fife. After some time in the academic world (studying and teaching philosophy), Janice decided to pursue an MFA at the University of Dundee in 2020. Since then, Janice has exhibited her work in Scotland and Portugal.