Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Jan's Mitchell's Bollard sculptures

Artist Jan Mitchell's, Life saver bollards made in Geelong, Australia.

Brass band bollards, made by Jan Mitchell in Geelong, Australia.

Tigerl lily flower painted by Jan Mitchell in Geelong in Australia.

Jan Mitchell have fun with her brass band.

Jan Mitchell's amazing scultpture's with great attention to detail.

Jan Mitchell in a light blue over-alls leaning on her bollard.

In 1995 I went out to Australia to see my brother and his family, as well as Jan Mitchell, my Godmother. When she had left Ireland she had told me to go out to Oz when I was 18. I was sad for years after her departure because I thought I would never be able to afford the fare. But, in 1995, after finishing art college and my folks paid for me to go there.

I arrived around Mardi Gras time and Jan’s son took me to see the wild parade. I then got on a train to Geelong and visited Jan in her huge rainbow-coloured studio. There were enormous brass band sculptures she was painting; they were so big they went through the floor to the next level. We sat at her desk drinking homemade lemonade, discussing life in Ireland and then I got to see all her bollards. They went all the way along the sea front. As you can see from the photos, they are brilliant.

We went back to her house in her little car. I remember her writing down how many miles she had driven, even though the bollards were literally around the corner. She didn’t like the tax man and I have to say I was very impressed with her professionalism as an artist.

In her house we constantly needed to step over her son’s scientific paperwork, which was lying on the floor in some ‘creative order’. On the mantle piece was Bosco, her pride and joy. I was sad to see she was no longer making puppets for Irish TV. Her puppets use to make millions of children happy, including me.

She had started painting of Ozzie flowers and again they were just perfect. I wished I could paint as well as her.

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