Jane Le Besque, born in 1965, Canterbury, England, is a Swiss independent artist since 2020. She has been practicing as a visual artist for thirty years – painting, creating books, and artist books. Her artistic training began at Hastings College of Art, (England 1983), Jane graduated (BA honours) in painting at Birmingham School of Art and Design (England 1986) and completed her studies at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris, (France 1987), invited by Professor Daniel Lacomme.
She exhibits her work in international galleries and museums. Her recent exhibitions include Sempervivum Rickshaw, at Munich-Nymphenburg Botanical Gardens; University Hospitals of Geneva; Musée Château de Nyon, Nyon, Switzerland; In the Open, ASLE-UKI, Sheffield University, Sheffield, United Kingdom; Nids, terriers et autres refuges, Jardin botanique alpin, Meyrin, Switzerland; Moveable garden, Festival les Jardins Mystérieux, l’opéra de Lyon, France – partnership with Galerie Françoise Besson, France. Jane will exhibit her Sempervivum, beetle, viruses, and bacteria images during April and May 2023 with Gabriel Ruta’s insect sculptures at the gallery Le Pont des Z’Arts, Seyssel, France.
Jane began to explore botany and the invisible in 2020, and developed the concept of Sempervivum Rickshaw. Wanting to learn more about the mountain succulent plant, Jane approached additional scientists to help her create a platform to research the history, anatomy, chemistry, and medicinal uses of the plants. The work has been exhibited at the Geneva University Hospitals, HUG, and Munich-Nymphenburg Botanical Garden, a show curated by Dr. Thibaud Messerschmid. Sempervivum Rickshaw is invited back to the gardens to celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2026. Jane is currently painting the 51 accepted Sempervivum species in preparation for the exhibition.
Using layers of handmade drawings, nano images, and macro photographs, Jane created and exhibited a collection of thirty viruses and bacteria inspired by geometries of viruses, and eccentric forms of bacteria.
She has held numerous workshops including Art classes with detainees at the Prison of with Bourg-en-Bresse, in partnership with Centre d’Art Contemporain de Lacoux, France. Last year, 2022, with the intervention of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Geneva, Switzerland, Jane was invited to create a cabin — “Cabanes et Abris Ephemeres” with the students of Lycée International Ferney Voltaire, France.
Residencies include Foundation Tallers Josep Llorens Artigas, Spain, sponsored by Fondation Valmont, Switzerland — for the creation of artist’s plates: Editions Tallers Josep Llorens Artigas, Spain. Her plates and paintings, were exhibited at Musée Château de Nyon, Nyon, Switzerland; the Hydra Museum Historical Archives, Hydra, Greece; and The dialogue of fire, Ceramic and Glass Masters from Barcelona to Venice, Official Collateral Event of the 56th Venice Biennale, Italy.
After leaving art college she lived and exhibited in Toulouse, France, where she created her first “sacred and profane” paintings inspired by the Mozarabic apocalypses. In 1990 Jane moved to London where she founded a family and continued to paint as she could between having three children. 1998 she, with her family, moved to the Lemanic basin.
There she began researching its native plants growing and began writing poetic foraging recipes since the post-glacial era. Her work evolved into her first self-published book, Un soufflé de pollen, sponsored by Hewlett Packard. Nominated for the Prix Eugénie Brazier, Prix d’iconoghraphie, it is also part of the collection Fondation Humus, Switzerland. Invited to offer her book in person to Claude Chabrol, filmmaker, it was also the official gift from the town of Louhan for the occasion of their film festival.
Her recipes were regularly published in Resurgence & Ecologist magazine; Slow Food Convivium of Geneva sponsored her first culinary event and exhibition in her studio, a Mesolithic garden and other stories, additional workshops were also hosted by Galerie Françoise Besson, Lyon. A portrait of Jane and her passion for prehistoric cooking was published in “Tabula” – Société Suisse de Nutrition SSN in 2021.