My name is Jadwiga Kindermann, I am fifty-five, Polish with dashes of Kurdish and Jewish blood. For years now, people find it easier to know me as simply ‘Yaj’ which is how I sign all my work.
I was born and raised in Lancashire and have an older sister who had a big influence on me when she went vegan for a trial week way back in 1978. I followed suit a year later after a brief period of vegetarianism. Wanting to research more, I found a book in the library on dairy farming and that was it. I moved to Herefordshire with my sister in 1979 and as the only two vegans, it was made crystal clear that veganism was something to be avoided or frowned upon. Thankfully, things are changing.
Sketching and painting from the time I could walk, art became my lifeline when things got tough. In 1999 our widowed mother moved to Herefordshire and in 2008 began to show signs of dementia. Eventually I gave up work to become her full-time carer, and so painting had to take a back burner. Since it is extremely important to me, I had to find a quicker method of expression. So, more recently, I began sculpting torsos from lingerie shop moulds that were about to be thrown onto a tip.
Since around 2006 I have donated works to BOS (Borneo Orang-utan Society) and have completed at least three commissions for their auctions. I also support other animal charities, and have started doing street activism; a result I think, of caring for my mother; the need to protect and save has exploded in me. I also hold regular exhibitions at our local leisure centre where some of the pieces have got the subject of veganism, animal abuse and speciesism out into the open. I use recycled canvases whenever possible, and Arisan Water Based Oils or System 3 acrylic paints.
As I am virtually housebound myself now, the only way I can help Viva! is to paint. And hope that someone likes my work enough to help raise money for their invaluable work.
How to raise money for Viva!
WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO IF YOU BUY YAJ’S ART
1. Tell Yaj your Viva! membership number; email her at email@example.com
2. Let us know the receipt number, date and total amount of purchase; email firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Viva! will then receive 90% per cent of the sale price from Yaj.