November 29, 2017
Jane played the part of the logical Marion Quade, one of the schoolgirls who disappeared without trace in the 1975 film Picnic at Hanging Rock (see close-ups at 5:15-5:16 & 7:06-7:28). It’s ironic that Jane herself has virtually vanished without trace since her death from lymphatic cancer on the 27th September 1993, aged 36. There is so little information about this beautiful, vivacious, talented young woman!
Over the years Jane has haunted me – in her lovely, gentle way – placing small mementos in my path: a small fragrant candle in heart-shaped tin on which she had pasted a cupid, a picture of James Dean (whom she adored!), a home-made birthday card… reminding me she is still around & that all is forgiven. She was a dear friend with an extraordinary gift of making anyone feel as though they were the most important person in her life.
I’d lost touch with Jane in the passage of time, and when I heard through a mutual friend that she was seriously ill with cancer, I was too cowardly to visit.
Then, in 2015, 22 years after her death, I came across a few damaged black & white portfolio shots of Jane taken by my brother’s friend, 17 year-old budding photographer, Neoclis (Nik) Bloukos. These now 37 year-old images provided the inspiration for my triple portrait of an unforgettable young woman, fresh from NIDA and on the brink of her brief acting career.
I haven’t felt Jane’s presence since then, but I know without doubt that it was her inspiring & nudging me to get it done as a reminder that life is brief…and to remind us all that she was here.
Jane Vallis (1956 – 1993). Rest in Peace Lovely.
Artist’s Note: If you remember Jane, please post your story in the comments below…