Originally published in the Summer + Fall 2018 issue.
Jane DeDecker knew from an early age that she was going to be an artist. Based in Loveland, Colorado, DeDecker says her mother tells the story of how she would let a very young DeDecker draw on her bedroom wall, and how she won the Deep River District Art Contest before she could even write her name.
“Drawing has been a release since childhood,” she shares. “The human form and human nature are infinite sources of inspiration for me. Every creative thought comes back to life and living life.”
DeDecker started practicing yoga 20 years ago.
“I remember driving home every day by a family of cottonwood trees,” she says. “I was drawn by the way they were like siblings, their branches finding and stretching their way toward the sun. Yoga seems so elementally tied to all forces of nature, and a way to look inward at our place in the harmony of things.”
She practices at home with videos and magazine sequences.
“I find poses that speak to me at certain stages of my life — from bearing four kids, repetitive injuries, and just plain getting older,” DeDecker says. “Not just physically, but emotionally as well. Warrior pose makes me feel so empowered, when at times I feel defeated. Yoga covers so many bases.”
When you look at her yoga sculptures, DeDecker hopes you see the strokes of clay, the energy, and the mailability of the human form.
“The sequence in which I develop and sculpt a human form begins with the spine, followed by the hip carriage, the legs and balance. The cranium speaks the intent. Most importantly follows my favorite body part, the rib cage — the beautiful bell shape that holds our breath, our heart.”
In every piece, she explains, she tries to leave some of the beginning strokes of clay, and retain in the layers the process and discovery.
“The process is very much like a yoga practice,” she says. “When there is a discovery in my practice, or a tie to my life story, a yoga sculpture will emerge.
“I can never be sure what will strike an idea,” DeDecker adds. “I keep open to all possibilities as I navigate, perceive and digest the circumstances that life brings.”
Photos courtesy of Jane DeDecker.