A post feminist collaborative artist specialising in telling hidden human stories through textiles and museum collections. Working with felt, film and original textiles to create sculpture and installations that uncover personal stories that have been lost or buried, Jan Bee’s work challenges the mundanity and monotony of domestic life reflected in the handwork of generations of women.
Mothers and Daughters an art installation for Goedereede Arts Week: August 2011 with Rachel Welford, Stef Mitchell and Franka Wurzer
Entwined a group exhibition at Woodend Creative with artists Lindsey Tyson and Samantha Birch: November 2011
Tickle your Fancy solo show at Electric Angel Gallery: March 2012
Drowned and Found solo show for Goedereede Maritime Museum: August 2010 an installation of felt and knitted sculpture based on love, loss and knitting in fishing communities.
With an eye for the dramatic Jan Bee discovers and interprets stories from lost and unloved collections. Bringing local history alive by mixing contemporary artists with historical paintings and museum objects to create fresh and original bespoke exhibitions with a human touch on a small budget.
Scarborough Art Gallery 2011: inviting photographer Joe Cornish and contemporary artist Kane Cunningham to revisit and re-interpret the collection of Landscape paintings at Scarborough Museums Trust. The ever-changing landscape of the East Coast is placed in the picture as Kane Cunningham’s Knipe Point Studio hovers on the edge of the cliff whilst Joe pushes the boundaries of his own practice in landscape photography.
Scarborough Art Gallery 2010: mixing contemporary art by Len Tabner, traditional and contemporary Fishermen’s ganseys from local museum collections and incorporating the work of textile artist Dr Annie Shaw. A spotlight on local history enabled the restoration of a tryptich of paintings of the great storm of 1880 by Robert Earnest Roe with help from the Pilgrim Trust.
Name to a Face
Scarborough Art Gallery 2009: an exhibition discovering the portraits in the attic store at Scarborough Museums Trust and the local stories that linked them to the East Coast. The exhibition walls were beautifully and wittily illustrated by local artist Sarah J Venus.
Drawing on The Dramatic:
Scarborough Art Gallery 2009 showcasing work from BA Costume, Graphics and Fine Art students at Yorkshire Coast College in combination with historic costume form the Trust’s collection, stage costume, costume design and featuring live ‘dramatic’ drawing sessions in the gallery.
East Coast Open:
Scarborough Art Gallery 2009 and 2011
Creating an Open with a difference by unifying local talent with works from the Trust’s Collection in themed rooms with a combination of guest curators.
Jan Bee Brown has worked in theatre for over 25 years. Graduating from Central St Martins in 1987 Jan Bee’s career has taken her around the world, from London’s west end to remote village halls in Scotland.
Inspired by collaborating with new writers and crossing traditional boundaries in performance; highlights have to include working with Johann Kresnik in Germany, John Martin and Pan Projects, Siobhan O Casey at the Abbey Theatre in Ireland, with Stella Quines in the Scottish highlands and my work with Sir Alan Ayckbourn and Chris Monks at the Stephen Joseph Theatre here in Scarborough.
What is a theatre designer? Essentially you are a visual storyteller. In Europe it is called Scenography, everything the audience see on stage, the set, props and costumes costume have been researched, considered, budgeted, decided on and fashioned by the designer, from the vast scene change to the last shirt button. A designer is only as good as their team and it truly is a collaborative practice working across all the technical departments in a theatre and with the actors and director as they rehearse the play.
After 25 years in theatre design Jan is currently designing the set and costumes for three shows for the Stephen Joseph Theatre’s summer season and two shows for Christmas.