Jane Pickersgill lives and works in London, having graduated with an MFA (Fine Art) from Wimbledon College of Art (UAL) in 2018. Her studio is situated in Deptford, an area she knows well as she lived there when she first arrived in London in the 80's. Like many areas south of the Thames it has a long history of chronic deprivation and poor housing, documented by Charles Booth's maps of poverty. Much of her work since she graduated has been informed by the relatively recent gentrification of these neighbourhoods which, nevertheless, are within sight of the wealthy financial district of Canary Wharf.
Before studying for her Masters, the artist pursued a successful career in fashion design, a field which she draws upon in her cross disciplinary art practice. She co-opts processes associated with textiles, but also employs photography, drawing and painting. Of interest to her is the transformation of banal materials into desirable objects, and the way in which contemporary culture fetishizes these. Architectural edifice operates as a metaphor for aspiration and social mobility. Her enquiries take in urban renewal, the allure of city life, its commodification, and the promise of transformation which it poses to a continual influx of newcomers.
Jane participated in the Processions 2018 events commemorating the centenary of women's suffrage. Her grandmothers played a formative role in her early upbringing and they were the first generation of women to be enfranchised. Following on from Processions she has been engaged in an ongoing project Honouring my Grandmother......Whilst Escaping her Legacy. It interrogates and celebrates the skills learnt from her maternal grandmother and how she has used them in her creative career. She insists that her grandmother could not have imagined that these 'domestic' skills would lead to her granddaughter earning a living as a fashion designer, much less how they could be re-contextualised in her art practice. Her grandma's life was one of considerable hardship, in domestic service before marriage to a coalminer, then limited by the constraints of familial obligations.
MFA Fine Art (Merit) Wimbledon College of Art (UAL). 2016-18
PTLLS (Preparation to teach in the lifelong learning sector) Lewisham College. 2009
Dip. Management Studies London South Bank University. 1992
BA (Hons) 2:1 Fashion. Northumbria University. 1979
Selected volunteering and professional development roles - some ongoing.
Jerwood Drawing Competition - art handler - administrative tasks and stacking, sorting work for acceptance and return, displaying work for the judging panel.
Southbank Centre - visitor services team leader - invigilation duties, promotion of events, tourist information, managing team rotas, reporting and dealing with front facing health & safety issues.
CRUK-Retail Assistant - cashier & visual merchandiser, stocktaking, sorting and evaluating donations, promoting awareness at fundraising events.
Sydenham Arts Festival - box office sales & event steward, community promotion duties.
Severndroog Castle Building Preservation Trust -visitor services/guiding, box office and sales, supervising educational visits, devising and leading family activity workshops.
Prior to commencing the masters she studied painting and printmaking at Morley College, London. Her practice included self employment as a freelance designer, associate lecturing at F/E level, and running craft workshops.
Professional skills from 20 years of employment ( up to Director level) as a Fashion Designer and Product Developer:
Time & project management
Mentoring and staff development
Researching opportunities & product development
Attention to detail
Marketing & visual merchandising
Planning and implementation of exhibitions and shows
Writing copy for press material