Jan Wade’s intricate sculptures are made entirely of found objects and recycled materials. From an early age, she was taught that nothing should go to waste, and she is a lifelong thrifter. In the large-scale sculpture Prophecy, pop culture symbols, religious icons, and common everyday items are arranged in symmetrical order. Many of the decorative elements are part of Wade’s unique iconography, including the inverted horseshoe (symbolizing good luck), the Black hand with raised index finger (what the artist calls the “fist of defiance”), the skull, and the cross. The backs of Wade’s works, usually hidden from view, contain the artist’s hand-painted texts. Ranging from standard information such as the date of creation and title to stream-of-consciousness writing resembling poetry, these texts capture the innermost thoughts of the artist’s creative mind, and as such give a sense of how Wade relates to, and thinks about, her own art.
Jan Wade: Soul Power
Jan Wade, Prophecy, 1993–2020
Wood, metal, plastic, found objects, paint, 168.5 x 92 x 33 cm, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, General Acquisition Fund. Photo credit: Ian Lefebvre, Vancouver Art Gallery.