I started using Unison pastels many years ago and found they have very special qualities – both in texture and vibrant colours. I’m delighted to have been asked to be a Unison Colour Associate Artist.

No matter what the subject, the images I produce need to be dynamic, energetic and most importantly create an impact – to make a noise. Having experimented and explored in a variety of media over years, I have found pastel to be the most dynamic and immediate of all media suitable for many of my subjects.

In recent years I’ve been working in pastel mainly on my large scale murals often covering entire walls. I use a black gesso background as a starting point, with pastels allowing me to work rapidly and with free expression. These works reflect major societal concerns – issues such as misuse of data and invasion of privacy, the controversy over Brexit, and the emergence of Trump and his alt-right supporters.

Pity the Nation – seven metre wide pastel mural featured in Exit – 100 days of Khaos instllation at Summerhall, Edinburgh 2019
Two large pastel murals on permanent exhibition at Summerhall, Edinburgh – see projects for more details

Above : Detail from an Arts4Dementia commission for its D-iagnosis social prescribing programme 2019/2020
From Despair to Desire

“The compositional development of artist Jane Frere’s piece entitled D-IAGNOSIS! Arts to Preserve Wellbeing was a parable of intellectual expansion inspired by creative opportunity. Frere, who cared for a family member throughout their journey with dementia, provided a lesson for us all.” Social prescribing for dementia The Lancet Neurology Burns A & Gallagher J Vol 20 Sept 2021 DOI:

Below: l-r Hands, eyes, pastel sketches for the exhibition In the Shadow of the Wall 2010 – final image studio shot of preparation for Pity the Nation installation at Summerhall 2019……


Owl and the pussycat