Inside/Outside group exhibition at The Eye Leicester

You may have noticed that I have been rather quiet here on my blog! Well, it is for good reason – I have been working away on a gallery project with friend and fellow artist Moira Robinson! It was a voluntary project and we were lucky enough to be loaned an amazing space for 6 months by the local Adult Education College. Soon we had 48 artists have faith in us and came on board, and we were assisted by 4 hardworking group coordinators who helped us in ways too innumerable to mention….. I won’t ramble on here, as there is far too much to say in one blog post – we had 5 stunning shows: one group one to start the project featuring all 48 artists, then 4 themed shows featuring 12 of the 48 artists, the exhibitions to be based on various themes which were chosen by the artists – Strong/Fragile, Light/Dark, Urban/Rural and finally Inside/Outside. To read more about this amazing project, please visit our blog – there is a plethora of wonderful material over there.

My show was the last in the series and I exhibited alongside 11 extremely talented artists from a range of disciplines, from Millinery to Felt-making to Ceramics. It was a really diverse show, with something to suit everyone’s taste and inclinations. To read more about the curation of the show, and see more of the other artists, we have written a blogpost about it over on The Eye Leicester. Here are a few sneaky peeks for you to see…….

Jane Sunbeam - Inside/Outside Panorama

Jane Sunbeam Panorama

Chris Allsopp Panorama

I chose the group with the theme Inside/Outside as I wanted to explore nests and burrows as a starting point. But, as time progressed, the work became far more embroiled in storytelling and personal narratives. Each piece involved a link to the inner world of our daydreams or inner lives, some from our childhood and others are secret dreams that we drift of to as adults.

Over the next few weeks I will add more posts about the processes and thoughts involved in the creation of these pieces, but for now, here are some pictures from the show itself – a reminder of all the happy memories, and a peek of the show for all those who missed it…….


Sadly the show is now over – it passed so quickly as I was so busy with the publicity and showing visitors around the show! Five weeks seemed like a long time when we were planning it, but with the Launch to organise, and Meet the Artist events and daily publicity on social media I barely blinked as it whooshed past. I feel twinges of sadness now that the whole project is over, but shall look back with great fondness on this project and all the wonderful things that have happened during that time.

I loved seeing each and every show, seeing how they each one took on it’s own voice, presenting a very different show each time it changed. It was a full on project, and there is no way it would have worked without everyone involved working so hard. I have found it a truly inspiring experience – and have learnt so much and been inspired by so many talented artists. It was very humbling that so many Leicester and Leicestershire artists wanted to take part. And now I have many of these artists as friends, confidants and mentors – which was a truly wonderful bonus to the project. Especially, as for me, I wanted this project to be more than the artwork on the wall – I wanted it to enrich the artistic community in Leicester.

If you wish to contact me regarding purchasing a piece of work, future exhibition opportunities or a personal commission please email me: thesunbeams @ btinternet.com


Getting connected (and living with self doubt).

Hello all, thankyou once again for visiting this site, and my blog. Its been a while, and I have somewhat failed in my weekly blogs – it seemed such an easy idea – a blog a week, but my goodness, Self Doubt has been sitting quietly by my side the past few weeks (as it does with so many creative people – perhaps we can organise a Self Doubt group for them to play whilst we work away). Not especially about my work (I think self doubt is often part of the territory and is what pushes us to keep creating and striving to make artworks), but about whether this blog is worth writing and whether it adds anything to the mass of amazing blogs that are out there.

I often think of this little thing of Self Doubt that sits beside me as a little timid character – I shall draw him one day- almost like that in Gorey’s “The Doubtful Guest”. Seeing it as this character makes it easier to understand, to empathise with, and to usher out for a walk so that I can work.

Edward Gorey, the Doubtful Guest
Edward Gorey’s The Doubtful Guest – really worth getting a copy of as it is full of dark Gorey’s archetypal illustrations, combined with his famous dark humour In prose, Gorey tells the tale of character that comes to live with a family, engages in all sorts of antisocial antics, yet the family cannot rid themselves of it, and one can see the family growing darker as their guest stays and never leaves.

But, Self Doubt has gone for a walk in the sunshine today (it normally does not like sunny days and happiness – I normally escape it by going out, so the reversal is rather encouraging, perhaps Self Doubt is transforming itself into a jollier character).  and I realise I like the blogging process, and to have people reading it is a plus and a bonus.

So, whilst I have not been here blogging, I have been busy on my other sites, getting connected with the many different social media platforms that are out there –  and perhaps dear reader, you are contemplating whether or not to try a certain social media platform, here is a rough guide from my perspective. Naturally, read the small print about copyright etc before making the choice as to whether it is worth the exposure and connections you gain.

So, if you haven’t seen a blog from me for a while, do check me out in these other places:

Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/JaneSunbeamIllustration/ Whilst I do like FB, I struggle to get new followers on it – and have been told that even those following me say they don’t often get updates. Unless you follow and click “get notifications” and then “see first” it is harder to get your profile out there. But for building up a good library of images over time, I must say, it is a great, and for those who do “like”, and who get the notifications, they will see me in their newfeed. So, please, if you are reading this blog, please skip over to FB too,  “Like”, “get notifications” and “see first”.

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I am also on Twitter https://twitter.com/JaneSunbeam

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I also have a website http://www.janesunbeam.co.uk/janehome.html Although I am very happy with  (and dare I say proud of) my website, and feel that it represents my work well (and having toiled for many hours on it) by providing a professional introduction for potential clients. It gives an overview of the mediums in which I work, and my teaching work with each page having a  gallery which autoplays and can be halted on an image. Each page also has with a mini statement on it, giving  the visitor comprehensive information on me and my work. But like many, I deem it a “static” way of interacting with it – it provides no statistics of views, or countries, and as complex site I only update it annually for fear of it crashing.Screen Shot 03-31-16 at 04.20 PM

My newest social media platform is Instagram and so far I have found it extremely useful. As you can see from the screenshot, it is so visual right from the outset, with the “likes” and comments popping up as one hovers over the image. Screen Shot 03-31-16 at 04.19 PM 001I have only been on it a week or so, but found it very user friendly, and so easy to search for others to follow, and to make connections. Also, as it was initially developed for the phone user, I find it so easy to use when out and about, and one thing in particular that I like is that other artists post works in progress, and so it is a very useful learning platform aswell as being one for me to show my work. I know of many artists/makers who now use IG to notify of items for sale in Etsy (another platform I am working on) and even selling directly from IG. Further reading can be found here in this useful article by the Agora Gallery. The # (hashtags) make it easy to connect work and ideas too, and from my researches, the # is a huge part of the posting – with some Instagrammers using up to a whopping 28 #’s!

So I will bid you goodnight from here – as I slip over to Instagram to post a picture or two…..and I shall return to write more on another sunny day……….