Born in Edinburgh, artist Jane Lee McCracken has been making drawings for as long as she can remember. After finishing the crossword Jane’s Grandmother would often draw beautiful women in the margins of the newspaper for her, using a ballpoint pen. This inspired Jane to use Biro as her preferred drawing medium and ultimately create images from her childhood experiences. She listened to stories from both world wars that her Grandmother told her and saw how it still affected her greatly. Watching war films with her father and meeting Charlie Chaplin when she was a small child generated a lifelong passion for films. Receiving postcards from exotic places her father visited through his work and reading about the animals he saw, contributed to Jane’s fascination for wildlife. All of these were inspirational to her interests in war and loss, nature, film and travel and can be seen reflected in her work. After completing her degree Jane worked as a park keeper in Camden to fund her art practice. She then became one of only a few female guards /tube drivers on the Northern Line in the late 1990s. Both positions were often challenging but provided invaluable life experience. Jane has worked as a full time artist since 2006. The simplicity of picking up a Biro and drawing complex works of art not only on paper, but also on objects, is something Jane finds both liberating and challenging. Her art is a tapestry of images that includes personal possessions, film references and people and animals in her life, particularly her dog. Together they are used to symbolise and explore the more complex and onerous sides to life.
Jane lives in the North East of England with her husband and their Northern Inuit dog Lily.
Jane Lee McCracken constructs intricate multi-layered Biro drawings and sculptures and installations incorporating her drawings. Her work is impassioned by childhood memoirs, fairy tales, forests, wildlife, films and documentaries. Along with her continuing interest in war and loss Jane’s artwork is both beautiful and representational of life’s brutal reality. Her meticulous drawings take several months to research and make, and incorporate complex and symbolic drawing layers. Her working process often includes photographing television screens as films or documentaries are played. This produces inspirational images to work from, giving her drawings a cinematic quality. Her work provokes consideration of loss and creates memorials of lives lived, both human and animal and ways of life lost.