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Janice Mehlman:

Come fly with me

29 November 2023 | 22 minutes
seated woman holding colourful artwork

Janice Mehlman, 2021

The long, narrow, glass-walled studio of Janice Mehlman is perched half way up the steep garden of her home, on a hillside near Pietrasanta.

Many of her abstract photographs are hung on crisp white walls, and she welcomes us inside to look at some of her work from the last 30 years. She explains how she started as a photographer, focusing on black-and-white images of architecture. After creating an image that captured a chance moment of light on a discarded photographic proof in her waste bin, she started to incorporate objects into her compositions. 

She shows us her workbench, where she finds inspiration. When light from the window shines in, it illuminates a cornucopia of materials in every colour and texture. We see swimwear, hats, netting and fluorescent wrapping – all glittering in the morning sun.

colourful artwork of glass

Janice Mehlman, Obscure Messages

Janice explains how her work has evolved over the years, particularly in relation to her exploration of her sensuality and sexuality as a woman. She talks about using her own intimate garments and other objects to create compositions that reflect her inner soul.

Janice Mehlman, The Art of Seduction

colourful artwork of glass and fabric

Janice Mehlman, Nothing But Illusions

She also recounts how her work has responded to different experiences, such as the Covid-19 pandemic and shows us a few pieces from that series.

Janice Mehlman, Yellow Brick Road

Janice Mehlman, About a Pandemic

We hear how she was inspired by a disastrous trip to Chicago to create one of her most acclaimed series of work, choosing to find the positive even in adversity.

Janice Mehlman, Come fly with me

Janice is professor of photography in the art department at Kingsborough Community College of the City University of New York


Photos: Janice Mehlman

Producer: Sarah Monk

Producer/editor: Mike Axinn

Music: courtesy of Audio Network

  • Play On 1030/7, Tim Garland

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