Sweet Love, oil on canvas, 60 x 76 cm, 2018



  • Creekside Open 2019 selected by Sacha Craddock, 13 June – 7 July
  • ‘Looking at You’ with Gedney Common, Rose Lipman Building, London, 2 – 14 April
  • Subsidiary Projects, London – ‘Summer Will Have its Flies’, group show, 25 January – 2 February
  • Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2018, South London Gallery, 5 December – 24 February
  • Gallery 98, Ramsgate, Christmas Open exhibition, 1 December – 5 January


  • Paper Cuts, Saatchi Gallery, London
  • RWA Open, Bristol, 6 October
  • Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2018, part of Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool John Moores University
  • Exeter Phoenix, café gallery
  • Plymouth Art Weekender
  • OSR Project Space, Od Arts Festival, Somerset
  • Galleries R Us, Art Week Exeter
  • Oxfam Music shop, Art Week Exeter


  • Awesome art space, Exeter, Christmas exhibition
  • Rye Winter Salon, Rye Creative Centre
  • PIY Paintlounge, Sluice Biennial
  • Plymouth Art Weekender, Plymouth School of Creative Arts
  • Turps Banana Correspondence Course
  • Makers of the Multiverse – Juneau Projects/Spacex
  • Random Art Machine @PS45 Gallery with PSU
  • Art Auction, Thelma Hulbert Gallery

Previous exhibitions and projects

  • Residency at Porthmeor Studios, St Ives,  June 2016
  • With Preston Street Union, May 2016, Postcard exchange, bookmark performance
  • Group show at Exeter Library, Absence and Presence, prints, March 2016
  • Group show of work at Chapel House, Penzance, January 2016
  • Collider, group show, PZ Gallery, Penzance – December 2015
  • Member of Preston Street Union
  • Second Prize, Open Drawing exhibition, Plough Arts Centre, Torrington, 2015
  • Commissioned to design Visit Exmouth railway posters as part of Exmouth Festival, partners include: Arts Council England and First Great Western, 2015
  • Group show at Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Honiton, 2014
  • Group show at Gloss Gallery, Exeter, 2014
  • Group show, National Trust – Killerton House, 2013

Awards, Courses, Education

  • 2018/19 a-n mentoring bursary with Rosalind Davis
  • 2018 Bloomberg New Contemporaries
  • 2016/19 Turps Banana Correspondence Course
  • 2017 Long-list Contemporary British Painting Prize
  • 2016 Porthmeor Studio, residency
  • 2016 Visual Arts South West mentoring programme (with PSU)
  • 2015 Newlyn School of Art, Mentoring Programme
  • 2014 Devon Artist Network/Open Studio Emerging Artist Award
  • 2014 Gane Trust award
  • 2013 Double Elephant Print Workshop Contemporary Artist Bursary Award
  • 1991 Graduated Brighton College of Art


Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2018 at South London Gallery, by Artlyst here


‘Janet Sainsbury’s works question societal concerns including displacement, patriarchy, power, gender and belonging. These vital topics are explored through portraits of real or imagined characters, often existing in groups. Giving the canvas over to these figures…she foregrounds the importance of the body as a tool with which to explore complex issues employing abstract forms and colour to create charged and engaging group studies.’ (Charlotte Flint, Looking at You, 2019)

In a series of paintings called Play I paint scenes of alfresco recreational activities and leisure to explore themes of sport, identity and sensuality.

In The Sphinx series I investigate the friendship between Samuel Beckett and Alberto Giacometti in the context of a Parisian brothel. I paint scenarios that allow me to imagine freely their behaviour; ‘In her installation of paintings, The Sphinx (2018), Janet Sainsbury spies on the post-war indulgences and encounters between these great modernist thinkers, and surveys their proximity, their insecurities and their virile competition. Loose marks over the canvases give the imagined narrative room to unfold and make space for limbs to flail.’ (Bob Gelsthorpe, Od Arts Festival, 2018)

Smokers – a series of intimate portraits, using photographs of Hollywood movie stars smoking as my source material. By focussing on the different ways smoking is used to create an image, I look at themes of patriarchy, celebrity and glamour and the different ways a cigarette can be used to express mystery, toughness or cool.

Pop – paintings celebrating pop music and pop fans. These portraits are of pop stars and fans that reflect my personal tastes and influences from the 1980/90’s. The paintings, which are on ply panels and LP-sized card, were displayed in Oxfam Music Shop window.

I am a member of Preston Street Union (PSU), an artist-led group that works together on collective projects. Recent events include GALLERIES R US, an itinerent, modular art space worn by the group at various points in Exeter city centre, featuring five minute micro artist residencies. PSU has been commissioned by Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter during 2019 to create two new pieces of work.






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s