Janne Rebecca Read

Janne Rebecca Read was born in Arendal, in the South of Norway. She studied Media and Communication in Norway and worked both for newspapers and TV. In 1996 she travelled to Wales to study Art and Design Foundation and later Documentary Photography, at the Magnum affiliated University of Wales Newport. Her tutors and early inspirators were Pete Davis, Ken Grant, Paul Seawright and Clive Landen. During her studies in Newport she met the artist Roderic Graeme Read. They married at Christchurch in 1998. The same year she was awarded a Public Art Project in Bristol, supported by the Arts Council of England. Her first solo exhibition was at the Norwegian Church Arts Centre in Cardiff in 2000. The exhibition travelled to The Courtyard, Hereford Centre for the Arts. She has exhibited her work internationally and is represented in both private and public collections. She has been the festival artist at Hovefestivalen. Janne was commissioned by the acclaimed Norwegian interior design company ‘Henriksen Snekkeri’ to produce an artwork ‘A Study of Trees # 5’, for a 3×5 metres wall. Her work is often inspired by nature, light and energy.

She has been working as an art, media and design teacher in both schools and in further education. She has written the children’s book ‘Regnbuedragen’, which her husband, Roderic has beautifully illustrated. She now lives in the South of Norway on the island of Tromoy, just outside Arendal, together with her husband and their 17-year-old son, Valentin. Here they also have an open studio and art gallery, Hove Atelier (www.hoveatelier.com). This is where the artist couple produce and display their work. Janne was a member of the RPS, Contemporary group, and took part in group exhibitions at Barbican Centre in London, The Octagon gallery in Bath and The Picture House Centre for Photography in Leicester. She is now member of the FFF, The Norwegian organization for professional photo artists.

Dr. Pete Davis, who was Janne’s mentor while studying Documentary Photography at Newport, has written about her work ‘A study of trees’:

“Forests can appear to be timeless and yet they are constantly evolving and changing. In some locations this is barely noticeable over many generations, even millennia, while human intervention and natural ecological factors can alter and devastate other wooded environments in the blink of an eye. Many forests owe their longevity to being a useful resource for the indigenous population, a situation that may have existed for some areas of woodland since the retreat of the glaciation that covered most of northern Europe until 10,000 years ago. This sense of history and continuity pervades many of these places and provides both spiritual renewal and creative inspiration for a sensitive creative photographer such as Janne Rebecca Read.

The myths and legends that are associated with forests are as diverse as their historical artistic representation and open to a wide range of creative interpretations according to the response of the individual artist. Jannes work here draws on both her understanding of and sympathetic relationship with these places and her perceptive use of historical photographic references and techniques. She has managed to blend together the histories of this particular landscape environment and her chosen creative medium. This has resulted in a body of work that while contemporary and ‘of the moment’, is also a reflection of the timeless nature of such places passage of time and an expression of her own thoughts and feelings about a place that is clearly special to her”.