Janet Tryner Fine Artist

Fine artist and live graphics designer.

Monday, 13 September 2021

Recent work

I was filling in one of those proposals and thinking that I hadn't made any work recently, but then on listing what I'd actually done so far this year I realised I'd been so busy making work that I hadn't shared it so it had sort of disappeared. Which isn't great. So here's an attempt to catch up.

The Empire

I asked Ryan Hughes, Artistic Director of Coventry Biennial, if I could help with some of the renovations at their new space at the top of The Empire, a new music venue in Coventry, in return for being able to have poke through the detritus of the building work and see what I could find. I ended up being able to do a few half days and hours helping here and there, take some scans and a few photos before my shoulder gave way, which it has been threatening to do for a while, but it was enough to generate some written work.

Using a desktop scanner to capture the essence of a place is kind of wierd because it's almost pointless. The scanners, I used two onsite just to see how different they were, only collect data from objects pressed right against the glass, the rest of sort of disappears into a blurry gloom, but they do take on a sense of ambient light, and I'd noticed, from scanning next to a window at home over six months that this appears as cast light, and I've become rather obsessed with that. So I really wanted to scan there in those rooms at the top of The Empire (a name I could play with for ever), with their odd array of James Turrell-esque skylights. 

Those images turned out pretty enigmatic, which I liked.  I also took some regular images with my phone camera and its the long shadows in these that reminded me of the surface of Mars depicted in the NASA lander photos, and this idea of The Empire extending all the way to an inhabitable planet, now seemingly inhabited by an ever growing collection of dust-covered rambling machines representing the ambitions of obscenely rich human beings. These remind me of the cloistered existence of the pet toys in the nationhood of his appartment of Blade Runner's replicant designer.

The Biennial were nice enough to agree to publish some of the resulting work in an appendix to their sixth communique, which I will share properly when it's out. 


More prosaically, but just as absorbing, I am designing and producing, in partnership with Helen Nelson, a game-based workshop about liabilities in artist practice for Coventry Artspace's artist development programme. The first part is called Navigating DisasterTM and the first workshops are about to be announced. 

I was also comissioned to draw all the illustrations for the development programme, the first part of which is Helen Nelson's Speedy CritsTM.


There has also been further illustration work.  I designed a screen print for Talking Birds new Nest Bonds (no.10,) which they launched a couple of weeks ago with their very lovely new studios in the Daimler Building in Coventry. I was very flattered that the other illustrators they comissioned were Frances Yeung and XXXX - which puts me in great company.  I have never thought of myself as a drawing type of artist before, and I'm delighted that it's something that others like enough to want to commission me so I'm currently looking at ways to do more of this.

So it wasn't like I haven't been making any work...!

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

New work 'Longshore Drift' installed at St Mary's Allotments, Leamington Spa

I'm really pleased to have been invited by artist and curator Tammy Woodrow to include new work in this art & poetry trail at the Victorian St Mary's Allotments on the bank of the River Leam in Leamington Spa.

'Longshore Drift' and 'Onshore Drift' are about the movement of stone. 

I tend to think of stones as static things, but within a much larger scale of time they are not. The process of stone breaking down, wearing away and moving downwards is as old as the hills, older in fact. I've been litho-curious for as long as I can remember, and my current obsession with pebbles is fed whenever I go for a walk or visit a beach.  I particularly drawn to fossil hunting, I am staggered by the scale of timeframes involved wherein life becomes preserved in stone.

The larger images show a fossil in a flint pebble I picked up on Rye Harbour beach on the South coast. The smaller images are of another flint I found in a local field local. Flint presents its breakages well, preserving its moment of fragmentation in the difference between its weathered, chalky shell and shiny silica interior.

I thought taking a moment to think about the stones would be approporiate in an allotment. It's my experience of gardening that much of it involves bending to pick up and chuck out pebbles - helping the drift.

I was inspired to name my work by a book I read this summer called 'The Pebbles on the Beach - A Spotter's Guide' by Clarence Ellis, in which he traces the movement of stone around our shores, a process of shifting sediment called longshore drift.

St Mary's Allotments Art & Poetry Trail 2021

curated by Tammy Woodrow
11 - 19 September 2021
10am - 4pm during Heritage Open Days Visitor Information
12-4pm, free entry

'Onshore Drift' (detail) Digital print of scanned images on ripstop fabric, 2021.

Friday, 3 September 2021

You don't have to but you can if you want


Resurecting an old post because I found it again and found that I still liked it. 

I can't remember what frame of mind I was in. I was probably on the train talking to myself.

Friday, 25 June 2021

Update: New work with scans and fossils

Here's a bit of work in progress. I've been busy on projects I can't share yet and non-art creative work, so it's nice to have some work to share.

Building on the many scans and all the stones that are cluttering up my space indoors, I'm trying out a new (to me) way of sharing these in public spaces, so I'm testing some outdoor-safe printing of some scans for installation for St Mary's Allotments Art Trail, Leamington Spa in September. The theme is loosely shelter, coverings, outside/inside so I thought of this one of flint fossil of a sponge I found at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve a few years ago. You can see the texture of the creature's jelly exterior but, unlike so many flints where the ancient skeleton has dissolved, this one has been perserved. I remember my surprise when I found it and that weird sense of lifetimes existing at such different times crashing together.

I've been fortunate that the printers gave me the first print that they messed up so I have a spare set to experiment with - thanks Contrado. They will have to be shown with dowels sewn in top and bottom, because they might be hung from trees or a fence, or even garden tools, but I like how they flutter in the wind. I need to work out if you can iron ripstop because getting it wet and crumpling it up really didn't work, however it is waterproof.

Friday, 21 May 2021

Darts Trophies

Beneath the snap of dull brass angles and glassy green
An enquiry about darts trophies found in the trees.
Obviously - stolen by the beech for the sisterhood, 
For the sake of the oak;
Old as they are and too genial to care
For the thud of brass splitting cork
And the wreck of revenge. 
A corps of beech, creaking with anger,
Long-rooted toes and leafy armour,
Striding down pavements
To cast their arms on the doors of slack-jawed, polo-shirted men.
Asking, What the hell are you doing to my friend? 
They’ll wrest the trophies from the mantel and make for the forest,
Rolling right and left as they run like great green battleships on land.

Journal notes: Weird Embodiment. [edited]

Today I finished a first reading of Timothy Morton’s Weird Embodiment. I am wondering how waste objects factor in to the vast array of partial things in nowness – the everlasting moment sliding between past and future - in appearance and essence, ambiguous objects in the Mobius strip of reality. It would seem that we are fooling ourselves that objects ever go out of connection with us. 

“…things do exist, yet they exist insofar as they are shot through with nothingness.”  Is this an agnostic turn?


“Since there are no top, bottom or middle things, there is no whole of which things are all components. Thus things are

necessarily partial.”
"And if you want to think of amalgamations made of partial parts, these form and reform, in a never ending, therefore never beginning, always turning, mobius strip of time."


He has things to say on beauty and Spinach art which make me remember an old crit where I struggled to express myself. There was a hierarchy of beauty that I struggled against too. “Art as disgust maintains a standard of taste, if only in the negative, which is why it is constantly struggling against beauty, against the seduction of the aura, against determinacy and the constraints of form.”


I begin to re-see why I am attracted to litter and waste and see in those abject objects some of the attributes of beauty. Because in waste objects disgust and beauty are joined and the difference between them becomes nullified in the struggle, which holds you in the moment of beauty, oggling at surfaces and lets you see past that to the object. Which becomes a moment in itself defined by its relations to others, both a product of processes and series of past relations, and a cypher of moments where this entity is called non-entity / nothing now and yet holds everything in its past association and lurks in the future as a frame of reference but at the edge of the frame.

Conversing with human litter is to be transported to the past via nothing more than an action of discarding,  a leap into a void; a gap when an object moves on from relation with humans as a component part into a new non-human amalgamation, (what we might lazily call nothing). Like old skin, it's there, we just don't want to recognise it as ours.

Which is why litter always strikes us as strange, weird and therefore disgusting – and we impulsively draw away from it. Litter drawn back up and examined, such as art made with found objects or an archaeological dig presents to us a chance to experience a new altercation with nothing, and with the non-human amalgamations that are out of our sphere of experience. It’s like meeting an alien who was once your next door neighbour.

This is a close up image of a scraper stone surface showing the scratches on the worn side. 

I made a watercolour and pencil sketch of a piece of litter from the collection; a crumpled gold foil chocolate wrapper, the gold exterior flattened around the white paper interior that buds from the centre, unfolding like a pair of twisted grey lips; the lips of the chocolate eater split and ready to eat. The foil shimmers in the close bright light I set to cast a deep constant shadow from which to draw. If I move my view will move, and the foil will shoot off light from its many angles and my subject will not be still and my drawing will be more difficult to achieve. I must be still to control the shimmering. Hold myself constant in relation to the chocolate wrapper. 

I started to think of the foil folds as stone surface.

21 February 2021

embodiment is not a case of being situated constantly and presently, but rather of shimmering or flickering.” T Morton ‘Weird Embodiment’

Thursday, 18 February 2021

New / old directions

Now a chapter is spent with the completion of my Coventry ArtSpace graduate residency is complete - bar a last blog - I am looking at where I taking research to next and luxuriating in being able to peruse the internet for all the interesting things that I glimpsed as I flew over in pursuit of past work obsessions, deadlines and humdrum marketing responsibilities.

One of these treats is Tai Shani video interview about her meditations on ergot, wheat, ancient farming practices, feminism, witches and psychodelic intoxication at Serpentine Galleries: https://www.serpentinegalleries.org/art-and-ideas/in-conversation-tai-shani-untitled-hieroglyphs/ The alternating visions of google earth, maps, ergot infected heads of wheat, but not the arhythmic red, red waves lapping at the shore of affected consciousness, reminded me that I wanted to reapproach the work I neglected to finish on the boundaries formed where digital mapping photogrammetry joins images of the ground resulting in an imposition of virtual borders on land because it reminded me of the heady, again arhythmic, but this time because of the wind and not the sea - invisible wind can be seen in the play of crops - , bobbing heads of chrome yellow oil seed rape of that day we filmed with the aid of a bright pink rope where the false line fell on the land. Perhaps I feel something of the same alteration of consciousness. Perhaps I don't, nevertheless, I want to look at that again.