I knew Jane Reiseger’s work long before I knew her personally. I had admired her beautiful bed linen designs so I was delighted when she came to see me as a client.
Jane is a true artist in the sense that her style is entirely her own. Once you know her work, you would recognise her unique nature-inspired images with their combination of line drawing and colour in a heartbeat. I loved her work so much that I asked my first publisher if we could engage her to illustrate my books. Sadly, at the time they couldn’t make that happen but they have since published a couple of beautiful children’s books illustrated by Jane.
One of Jane’s renowned collaborations is with architects, Bates Smart and design studio Buro North creating artworks at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne. As Sheree Proposch, then Director of Bates Smart (now Hassle) says, “Infusing nature with interior design has created an enriched and restorative environment for children, families and staff.″
As part of Melbourne Design Week (which commences on 26 March), Bates Smart is holding an exhibition titled The Art of Distraction, exhibiting Jane’s work in-person in East Melbourne and online.
I thought you’d enjoy learning a little more about Jane and her beautiful art.
Can you tell us a little bit about your work?
I am an illustrator/artist and I like to work on children’s hospitals. I draw by hand on watercolour papers with copic textas, fine liner pens and or gouache. These illustrations are then scanned into a computer and laid out in various ways to suit different walls, ceilings, windows etc. They’re then printed out as large wallpapers or made into curtains or bedding.
I really love collaborating with architects, graphic designers and interior designers. It brings me much joy to work on a project from its early stages to completion. I love the journey everyone goes on. I also illustrate kids books – I’m currently working on my third book called Say Hello with Jane Godwin and Affirm Press.
You’re currently exhibiting your artwork from the series you did for the Royal Children’s Hospital and you’ve named the exhibition The Art of Distraction. Can you tell us a bit about what that means to you?
We decided to call the exhibition The Art of Distraction because when life is a bit tough, some distraction from your every day can be a good thing. The idea is that art can help bring joy and take you on your own imaginary journey. It can help you find peace within.
Last year was such a difficult one for many people and that’s when we came up with the idea for the exhibition. We thought we could have a virtual exhibition where you could go on your own little journey and escape from the uncertainty for a while. It’s also a celebration of 150 years of the Royal Children’s Hospital and showing how art can play a vital role in the health and well being of patients, visitors and staff in hospital spaces.
The exhibition highlights the critical role art and nature plays in our built environment, bringing joy, encouraging creative play and to deliver a healthy dose of hope and delight when we are confronted with life’s challenges.
Can you tell us a bit about what gives you a sense of purpose – in business and in life?
Community, giving back, friends and family.
Where do you go for creative inspiration?
A good bookshop. Other artists and designers. I also love homewares and textiles handprinted tiles. Architects websites, interior designers websites, the publisher’s website gestalten. Walking on the beach with my dog, swimming. Spending time in nature.
What are you reading right now?
I’m reading A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. A friend has lent me this book and I have just read the intro so far and love it already.
What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to someone wanting to go into their own business?
Try not to listen to your doubting-self too much. Enjoy the journey. Meet lots of people and keep active with your friends and family.
Location: Bates Smart Gallery, 1 Nicholson Street, East Melbourne VIC 3002, Australia
Friday 26 Mar 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday 27 Mar 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Tuesday 30 Mar 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Wednesday 31 Mar 11:00 am – 5:00pm
Thursday 01 Apr 11:00 am – 5:00 pm