Janet Wilson

Studio Artist: 

Janet was born in King Williams Town, South Africa in 1968. She holds a BA Fine Art degree from UCT and an MA in Fine Art from WITS University.

The recipient of a WITS University Council Postgraduate Scholarship (1996), WITS University Sports Council Bursary (1996), UCT Entrance Scholarship (1988) and a UCT Class Medal for Fine Art (1990), Janet has participated in several group exhibitions.

She has held five solo exhibitions:

Joburg, Kampala, Nampula, Paris, Johannesburg, 2012
Visiting Artist, Ivuka Arts Studio, Heaven Restaurant, Kigali, 2008
Motherhood and Apple Pythagorus, Upstairs at Bamboo, Johannesburg, 2004
Between the Lines, Mind's-I Art Space, Pretoria, 2002
Icon and Index, African Window Museum, Pretoria, 2000

Janet has work represented in private and public collections, including those of:

WITS Art Museum, Johannesburg
Rutherford College, University of Kent at Canterbury, United Kingdom
The South African Embassy, The Hague, Netherlands
The South African Institute of International Affairs, Johannesburg.

From 1995 to 2003 Janet worked as assistant to, and then as Slide Librarian in the History of Art Department at WITS University. She also taught on the Visual Literacy programme at WITS University. Since 2013 she has taught on the Thusano Sewing Programme at St Columbas Church, Parkview and has taught art at the Salvazione Christian School in Brixton, Johannesburg since 2014.

She is married to Greg Mills and together they have three children: Amelia, Beatrix and William.

To depict landscape is to position oneself in relation to that environment. The artist describes a viewpoint that could be anything from appreciation, fascination or ownership to displeasure or dislike. Having lived in Johannesburg for twenty years I can no longer claim to be able see the city from an outsider’s perspective. That is the domain of the artist-as-traveller, as is my experience of painting on site in Zambia, Rwanda and Mocambique. To focus on a known environment then, is to go beyond the immediate, hurried concerns of the artist-on-the-move and to consider why an artist would choose a particular scene: what it is that makes a landscape strange or beautiful or interesting? Aware that I consistently include large flat areas of colour, I also rely on lines of perspective and the angles of buildings to give structure to the paintings. My aim is thus to identify these recurring features and to explore how they contribute to meaning in the image. My environment extends from my home in Parkview, to where I teach at the Salvazione School in Brixton and to my studio at Assemblage in Newtown: a triangle that snaps and sings to Jan Smuts, Empire, Bartlett and Queens, as well as Lilian Ngoyi, Dolly Rathebe, Albertina Sisulu and Gwi Gwi Mwrebi.
  • Janet Wilson
  • Janet Wilson
  • Janet Wilson
  • Janet Wilson
  • Janet Wilson
  • Janet Wilson
  • Janet Wilson
  • Janet Wilson