The Cornwall Workshop

Jane Darke

Jane Darke is a documentary director, painter and writer. She made a film about Atlantic debris with playwright Nick Darke about their collection of found objects and connections made through them with the eastern seaboard of the Americas, as well as Cornish fishermen and wreckers, The Wrecking Season, 2005. It was the first film to be broadcast to mention plastic pollution of the seas. The Art of Catching Lobsters, about grief, was made after Nick died in 2009. Her most recent film was about the Poet Charles Causley (2017). All were broadcast on BBC FOUR. Her book Held by the Sea was published by Souvenir Press in 2010, about the healing power of landscape. Jane has also made several radio programmes for BBC Radio 4. 

Jane trained as a textile artist producing hand painted lengths of cloth at Middlesex Poly, BA hons, then started painting at the RCA, and was awarded an MA. She continued to paint and worked as a gardener, had two children with playwright Nick Darke. For two years the family lived off grid in woods, 1984-6. When they moved to Cornwall in 1990, where Nick was born, they began to scavenge anew.

She now works and exhibits at Tregona Chapel, St Eval, on the North Coast of Cornwall, where she curates St Eval Archive a collection of recorded memory and digitised photographs, and lately a herbarium, of the parish of St Eval, gathered by herself and partner Andrew Tebbs. There they hold teas and workshops for the community. 

At the moment she’s working on a new film about Nick Darke’s influence, since death, on the creative lives of others. She’s also working on a book, written in non-academic language, with easily accessed references, about our planet: natural history, general science, history and religion and how we got to where we are now – a view of the world from sea level, in Britain. Her paintings group found objects, from the sea, together, in a satisfactory manner.