Over a cup of tea with Jan Dunning

back to artist page »

An informal Q & A

Which photographer or artist do you most admire?

I love the work of Tacita Dean, Joan Fontcuberta, Cindy Sherman, Francesca Woodman, Olafur Eliasson.

What artwork, where money is no object, would you like to hang on your wall?

I'd never get tired of looking at Hieronymus Bosch's "The Garden of Earthly Delights", but my wish list would also include a Francesca Woodman photograph, Cindy Sherman's "Untitled Film Still 48" and an early Lucian Freud portrait of Kitty.

What is the worst commission you have ever had?

It can be difficult working on a commission with the client there, because my pinhole camera has no viewfinder for them to look through, the exposure times are long and there is no instant image to analyse. They need to have to have a lot of imagination and trust about how the final image will look.

What is the best commission you have ever had?

Any project where I have had been left to my own devices to experiment and play, or whenever I have worked with people who really understand or trust in the process.

Which famous artists, living or dead, would you invite to a dinner party?

Lewis Carroll, Maurice Sendak, Tove Janssen, Jan Pienkowski, Dr. Seuss.

When are you at your happiest?

Having a picnic with my husband and our daughters in some forgotten corner of Hampstead Heath. But I am also completely content working alone in my studio, especially when everything is going well.

What is your most treasured possession?

Photographs of my daughters and all the things my husband has made for me.

What book are you reading at the moment?

Haruki Murakami "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle".

What made you laugh recently?

The expression on my baby's face whenever she tastes something she doesn't like.

What really winds you up?

I'm not very good at being told what to do.

What would your dream project be?

To write and illustrate a children's picture book, using pinhole photography.

What do you do when not working?

Read, go to exhibitions, see friends, or head off to Brittany where my family has a home.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Books, music, films, memories, daydreams, my imagination.

How you would you like to be remembered?

With a smile.

What music would you like played at your funeral?

I'd get everyone dancing or shuffling around to some classic indie pop tunes from the late 1980s and early 1990s.

back to artist page »