Jane Mowat: Projects


Many years ago, I was standing in a small, enclosed garden within a wood. It was surrounded by high trees and vegetation, and the glade of a garden felt like a room within a leafy house, with the sky as a roof.

I was inspired that day to make a bed that could sit within that out-door room and be, as it were, a piece of out-door furniture.

I created the carved bed over a couple of years, carving the uprights from strong, green oak, and the panels from a mixture of seasoned elm and oak boards. My intention is to have it out of doors in different locations mostly woodland, where it serves the purpose as both a bed to sleep in, and as a bed to dream in.

The dreaming is the opening of our boundaries from how we see and understand our lives, to what could be: to see the great outdoors as a place that nurtures and inspires us to be wiser, better people perhaps, in the way we treat our environment; to lose our fear of nature and the elements, and to see this as part of our life we can so easily live a cosy life cut off from greater realities contact with the earth, the sky, and yes, even the cold and rain! By lying in the bed, in a wood, we see framed above us not a ceiling that cuts off sensation, but the swaying trees and the stars. We hear the rustling of leaves, birds and far-off sounds of people or planes or traffic. We are a part of that world, and not cut off from it. We can dream in the open.

The imagery on the carved panels developed organically, started with the two sleeping male figures, and the woman at the foot. I then wanted to include the elements of air and water, shown in the long panel of swimmers, and the flying angel. Earth is represented by the grapes growing at the foot of the bed, above the sleeping woman, and by all the plants that grow up the vertical posts. Fire is there in the form of a campfire, with the smoke rising and mingling with plants on one of the uprights. The various figures are on their journey of discovery swimming, resting, watching, dancing, and flying. Nature is there not only in the form of fruits, leaves and branches, but as birds and beasts. Their fate is entwined with ours, and our dreaming encompasses their own fate and dreaming. Their lives are also above and beyond our understanding we know so little, yet about this wonderful planet that we inhabit.


    contact Jane at janemowat@eclipse.co.uk or Tel: 01398 361454