I always wanted people to appreciate the wonder of flying. We have always wanted to fly and we have only been able to do so for not much more than a hundred years.
Climate change I knew must limit cheap flights for all eventually - now Covid-19 seems to be achieving this. But for how long?
I am a painter who has worked with the theme of flying for over 10 years. Recently I have been making mobiles of laser-cut flying people. Silhouettes are what we see of things flying high, and these can suggest a flying person. My experience of gliding makes me think we do not need angels’ wings to fly.
Also for many years I have been making collages of the photographs I have taken from the windows of passenger jets, gliders and helicopters. Seeing how few airline passengers look out of the windows suggested my JaneAir plane which I still ‘fly’ occasionally.
Another major influence on my work has been my uncle - a photo-reconnaissance Spitfire pilot in WW2. He left me his flying logbook and his medals. I have used photographs he took in series of works using overlapping clear acrylic sheets.
I have been invited to hold a solo exhibition from January to March in 2021 at Greenham Common in the Control Tower (now a community centre). I only hope it will be open in time. I had planned to use it to question how my work could contribute to the protest movement to limit the world’s climate disaster. Covid-19 makes this so much more relevant.
Jane Oldfield was born and brought up in Harewood, Yorkshire but she now lives and works in Twickenham, West London. She was studying at Hornsey College of Art in 1968, and then did a M.Sc. at UMIST, Manchester in Design Research. Later she worked for Warwickshire and Lewisham in social research and planning.