Just a woman
By Jakob Villien
There were two ideas I had in mind for Nordlys from the very beginning, when Mads and I decided to go for it and create Nordlys Miniatures. One: A female practice bust. And, two, a female hiker kit. I knew I had to see both become a reality before I could let it go. As both were really strong ideas.
I was thinking a lot about what the female bust should be. And please don’t get me wrong, I like painting female busts with big boobs and bigger weapons, honest I do. But apart from Pepa Saveedra’s ‘Women på Pepa’ and Pedro Fernandez busts it seems to me there really aren’t that money female busts that aren’t suggestive or aggressive. So I really wanted to see a bust come to life, that would both be an academic bust for practicing skin and face, and also a bust that would function as a canvas for creating characters, in the same way as Banshee’s classic and brilliant couple of Anonymous busts. But what should her expression be exactly?
I knew just who could pull this off all along; Peder Bartholdy. I talked a lot to Peder about it, and thankfully he was all aboard. She should be neither suggestive nor androgynous. But just a woman. If she is not powerful, she risks being passive and weak. And if she is powerful she risks not catching the subtlety and softness that I wanted to. And she should have breasts. Because of the simple fact that women have breasts. But she should not be sexualized. She should be neither old nor young. She should have a look that is strong but not engaged in any action. Resting and content. Powerful, but not overly so. I have been so nervous about this balance, and oddly so, as it should be pretty simple. Jane is, after all, envisioned to be just a woman. Plain and simple.
Thankfully Peder is a brilliant mind reader as well as a brilliant sculptor, and could see how she should look in my mind before I even thought it, and created this marvelous gorgeous character. And voila, Jane was a reality within a couple of weeks. The name Jane is from Jane Doe, and is the female equivalent of John Doe. It does not have biblical connotations, although I admit, that if I was an art teacher I could put a lot of meaning into that, naked and all.
The ideas that popped in my head, interestingly, wasn’t typical characters (a marine, a doctor, etc.), but women in different settings, from different backgrounds, with different stories. All just being and not acting. Also just interesting ways to painting her. Like colours, shapes, and settings. I am not lying when I tell you that I have currently finished three, and three more in the WIP section, and at least five times as many ideas and references collected for version I would love to do. My dream is to do ten versions and display them together, and Franco Serra from Il Basetta has made me ten amazing plinths for it. But who knows if that will happen. Life, time and inspiration will decide. But in that way, Jane is as much a commercial release as it is a personal project for myself.
Jane is what I wanted, and hopefully others will appreciate her too.