Local Face: Jane Muir

  |  Published: Mar 1st 2017

Jane’s mother believed in outdoor sketching so she had a childhood filled with drawing old churches and collecting flowers for work at home. Her mother had trained at the Slade School of Art so she could teach technique. Jane wanted to be an artist but needed to earn a living and she was delighted to study history at St Anne’s College Oxford on a County Award. Studying history led Jane back to art. An exhibition of mosaics from Ravenna in London inspired her to win a travel bursary to Italy in 1950, awakening an interest in this art form which later became a speciality of hers. 


Marriage to Alastair took her to North East England where their children Thomas and Sebastian were born. Once the children were old enough, Jane was determined to fit in the study of painting and sculpture in Middlesborough, then murals and mosaics at Teesside College of Art.


The family moved to Weston Turville and by 1968 Jane was an award winner in the Belfast University Open Mural Competition and had started free-lance work. In 1969 she had an exhibition Stones of Glass in Billingham Civic Art Gallery. She has been exhibiting regularly ever since. Murals have been commissioned including St Anne’s College, The Open University, Cape Asbestos Fibres Ltd, Oxfordshire County Museum, Princes Square Shopping Centre, Glasgow and many others.


Buckinghamshire County Museum has organised a retrospective of Jane’s work as she is a local artist, Museum Patron and founder of the Muir Trust Artist in Residence programme. The selling exhibition Beyond Description opened on Saturday 21 January and continues until Saturday 22 April. The evolution of her work is traced from plein air figuration in the natural landscape through to mosaics and commissioned mosaic murals, followed by oils and watercolours inspired by music. Appropriately, on Saturday 18 March, 12.00 – 1pm, there will be a lunchtime concert by Cambiata trio based on the music paintings, with an opportunity to quiz the artist on content and method after the concert. The programme will include works by Tallis, Telemann, Purcell and Bach as well as contemporary music by Hans-Martin Linde and Andrew Challinger. Concert tickets are £5.00 bookable (tel 01296 331441) or online.

A world of ideas underpins Jane’s work and the title, Beyond Description, explores her artistic journey from descriptive, observational work through to more abstracted pieces.

Jane Muir
Jane Muir
artist at work on bleu d'autremer
Artist at work on bleu d'autremer
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