Jane Stapleford

Jane Stapleford

Wildlife and Fantasy Artist

When painting a person, an animal, a bird or a fantastical being, the goal is to reveal the soul within. This is the driving force of Jane’s art. She has spent a lifetime peering into the murky waters of what makes living things tick and the results are evident in her work. Technically, her creatures and the landscapes and worlds they inhabit are assured and dynamic. The subjects are welcoming and confronting at the same time. They look out into our world and you instantly form a real bond, because what lies within is believable. It is a rare strength and Jane’s secret.

Career highlights and a life in art

Early life

Born in Tunbridge Wells, England, Jane spent three early informing years in Jungled uplands of Southern India, before returning to go to school in England more fluent in Hindi than her birth tongue.

In 1954, Jane’s family emigrated to Australia and from 1957 to 1963, she attended Frensham school a year ahead of her peers, despite having had to relearn English.

Upon graduation, she spent three years at the National Art School in East Sydney.

During this time she was already enjoying success in with solos exhibitions in places like the Nunda Gallery in Canberra as well as group shows around Australia.

This early success encouraged Jane to spread her wings and in 1967, she headed for swinging London where she studied at St Martin’s School of Art and the London Literary Society. Whilst not exhibiting formally, she enjoyed great success selling painting to both private collectors and through galleries.

Crafting a career in Australian art to the present day

Forced to return to Australia in 1969 for family reasons, Jane set about forging a career in the arts between 1970 and 1989 she regularly exhibited at The Australian Sculpture Gallery in Canberra, with Mavis Chapman and Proud’s in Sydney, the Manyung and Balmoral Galleries in Victoria and the Cook’s Hill Gallery in Newcastle. She was also exhibited at the Greenhill Gallery in Perth, the Leura Gallery and Inside Out in Sydney.

Although very much an individual in her work, Jane occasionally accepted commissions during this time from such institutions as the Prime Minister’s Office, several Japanese Corporations and the American Ambassador in Canberra.

Being a single parent through this time, her son Aaron was born in 1973, made it a challenge to maintain her art career and independence as an artist whilst providing for the two of them.

In 1990, she made the decision to diversify and started producing work that allied her with the burgeoning Australian Craft movement. She produced etchings and decorated objects which proved a hit and she has maintained her links through several exhibitions a year with the Australian Craft Show and more recently, its offshoot, the Designers and Makers shows in Sydney.

Ever industrious and seriously hard working, Jane has always continued to exhibit in group and one-woman shows around Australia. Galleries such as Southlands in Canberra, Boyd fine Art in Camden, The Private Gallery in Surry Hills as well as at such institutions as Sydney Botanic Gardens. She has also consistently provided works for charity supporting such organisations as “Jeans for Genes”.

Jane has no intention of slowing down and continues to explore her unique world of creatures both natural and fantastical, with the inquiring eye and steady hand that has allowed her carve out a successful career as a full time artist.