Jane Charles

What do you do and how would you describe your work?

I work predominately in textiles, I love to dye, print and embellish. I do a lot of community projects with schools and groups, textiles is a great medium for people to have a go at. Lots of variations in techniques that most people can relate to in one way or another.

I have a variety of things I create: large quilts for schools and community projects either collaboratively or as private commissions, smaller pieces of work for exhibitions, work for direct sales – often using vintage fabrics and haberdashery I find. I enjoy doing good quality art fairs, meeting people and selling my work directly to them. For the last 5 years we have taken part in Bucks Arts Weeks and Compton Verney textile fairs, a great quality of makers I am proud to be part of.

How does it feel being part of the Arts Central community?

AC has given me space to work, make large quilts. Space where I can switch off from family commitments and focus on my projects. Over the years I have also met influential people and made great connections in arts scene of Milton Keynes, something I would not have done without Arts Central.

I’ve also enjoyed the challenges AC and Arts Gateway has thrown my way, running the exhibition space at the Cornerstone Gallery has been great, giving people space to show their work. I also got involved with MK Litfest in 2019, interviewing the writer Kassia St Clair in a sold out Gallery Sky room; I was terrified. But those who saw it said I was very good and they enjoyed the conversation. This would never have happened without Arts Gateway and the opportunities it has developed over the last 6 years that I’ve been connected to it.