Jane Frere – I am a Scottish artist, living in the Highlands, and working in a variety of media including painting, pastel and printmaking. Originally I trained in theatre design graduating from Central St Martins and Slade School of Fine Art after several years in Greece where I earned a living as an artist.
In addition to undertaking stage and costume design commissions in England, Scotland, Greece and elsewhere in Europe, for many years I ran my own consultancy as an international producer, managing touring and bookings for the celebrated Polish company Teatr Biuro Podróży and several others.
Always sketching and painting, I began working full time as an artist to focus on a project, which led me to become artist in residence at the Al Hoash Gallery in East Jerusalem and undertake a major programme of work during 2007/8 with refugees and others with the support of the United Nations, and several international non-governmental organisations. The resulting sculptural installation, Return of the Soul, involved suspending 3,500 wax figures was exhibited at the Edinburgh Art Festival as well as in Lebanon and Jordan and East Jerusalem.
I returned to Palestine where I stayed close to the notorious separation wall to prepare a large series of mainly oil paintings exhibited to accompany the concert premiere of work, entitled Emails from Palestine, composed by my friend David Ward for the Sound Festival in 2010.
My work remains influenced by theatre and reflects a strong humanitarian concern. With an insatiable curiosity and constant need for innovation, I am a versatile artist using a broad range of materials and techniques, not confined to working with one particular medium, being lucky enough to have my own print studio and a painting studio.
For several years I collaborated closely with the late Prof Will Alsop RA making prints exhibited at the Royal Academy and elsewhere. More recently I created a number of large-scale pastel works for Summerhall, the arts and culture hub in Edinburgh, including the permanent exhibition of two murals related to the furore over Brexit and Donald Trump, and followed this last year with a major installation, Exit-100 Days of Khaos, originally conceived as a response to the original Brexit deadline, with a seven-metre wide pastel, Pity the Nation.
My current work aims to confront and engage with the great global emergency of climate change. As an artist concerned with addressing human rights, I recognise that our planet is not ‘approaching’, but has already reached a tipping point in the Climate Emergency which threatens to devastate the world we live in. So I have now decided to focus the attention of my art primarily on the most fundamental human right of all – the right to live on a habitable planet.
From my Highland studio, Druimarts, I am setting out on my next and most ambitious project to date – ” Facing Extinction – countering the Climate Emergency”.