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Sad Stories in Paint: The end of one career…

26 March - 6 April

26 March – 6 April 2024

Tuesday – Friday: 12pm – 7pm
Saturdays: 12pm – 4pm
admission: Free

I have a strong desire to communicate on a deeper level, whether verbally, with words on paper, or paint on canvas.

Artist Statement:

“Why do some people feel the need to thrust their innermost thoughts and feelings at others? I’m not sure, but I know I’m one of them. For whatever reason, I have a strong desire to communicate on a deeper level, whether verbally, with words on paper, or paint on canvas. This exhibition is a selection of my endeavours over several decades of using clay, paint, and words. It’s been almost thirty years since I worked in clay and about five years since I gave up painting to write my first book. My second book will be launched here on April 4.

I’ve had no formal training in art but I grew up surrounded by art and artists so it was a natural choice when, in my late twenties, I decided to put effort into something other than my fraught romantic relationships. Often there are stories or messages in my paintings; some are subtle and open to interpretation, others are blatantly obvious.  Some of these stories are personal and contain symbols of my own invention, such as the cat as the dispassionate witness to human foibles. Or the fish as a symbol of cold-blooded emotional detachment, especially that of a lover. Occasionally I’ve copied the work of an old master, but in my own style and adding a message of my own.

Unsurprisingly, as I approach 70 my sense of my own mortality is increasing. That reality has spurred me on to organize this exhibition, which may well be my last. And in the spirit of showcasing several aspects of my life, I’m dispensing with a long-winded opening night speech in favour of dancing to a couple of Tango Nuevo tunes with a friend. Tango is my hobby and I want to dance while I can still bend my knees.”

  • Jane Sinclair


Image captions:
Image 1 – Hope, Jane Sinclair, 2011, oil on canvas, 100 x 100cm
Image 2 – Man and Child, Jane Sinclair, ink on paper, 82 x 60cm
Image 3 – The Surgeon and the Angel, Jane Sinclair, oil on canvas, 150 x 100cm
Image 4 – The Old Digger, Jane Sinclair, oil on canvas, 100 x 100cm
Image 5 – The Outsider, Jane Sinclair, oil on canvas, 100 x 100cm

Jane Sinclair
Born Melbourne 1954

My parents loved art, cats, and classical music. But I was a rebellious teenager with little interest in their world so at seventeen I went with my surfer boyfriend to live in Queensland, where we bought a dog, listened to rock music, and worked on getting a suntan.

Back in Melbourne years later, I decided to try to make a living out of art. My uncle, Robert Langley, was a ceramic sculptor and I’d sat in on some of his classes as a child so clay seemed a good place to start.  I set myself up in a studio above Pigtail Pottery in Brunswick Street Fitzroy, selling my sculptures through the Pigtail Pottery shop. I had my first and only solo show of sculptures there in 1991. Before long I became frustrated with the limitations of clay and took up painting.

From 1996, when I was part of an exhibition with four other painters at Chapel off Chapel (Little Chapel street Prahran), I exhibited regularly until 2010. Exhibitions I was in over those years include three at ROAR Studios (Brunswick Street Fitzroy), six at Manyung Gallery (Mornington), and three at the Jackman Gallery (Grey Street St. Kilda). My last exhibition was a solo show of 36 paintings at the Jackman in 2010.

All my adult life I’ve written scraps of personal writing, especially in times of distress. Yet until I read the bundles of old letters between my parents that my mother had given me, I’d never considered the possibility of writing a book. It was as I tried to make sense of their marriage that I began to think it was a story worth telling. Writing then took over my life and my first book, ‘ Shy Love Smiles and Acid Drops, Letters from a difficult marriage’ was published in 2021. My second book will be launched at 45 Downstairs on the 4th of April.

Opening Night
Tuesday 26th March
5:00pm to 7:00pm
Large Gallery

Free Entry.
All Welcome.
No Booking Required.

Book Launch Event
Thursday 4th April
5:00pm to 7:00pm
Large Gallery

Free Entry.
All Welcome.
No Booking Required.


26 March
6 April
Event Category:


fortyfivedownstairs gallery
45 Flinders Lane
Melbourne, Victoria 3000 Australia
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03 9662 9966
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03 9662 9966


Jane Sinclair
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