Arbourthorne Community Primary School

Arbourthorne Community Primary School

'... a place of joy, inclusivity and learning' OfSTED 2022

All About Jayne

Many thanks to Sarah Jane Palmer who helped us make this short film about my residency at Arbourthorne. It features interviews with staff, parents, governors and ex pupils, all recalling there time engaged in visual arts practice , through the residency, and making a case for the power and necessity of having arts at the forefront  in primary  (and all!) education. This is a little three minute version - the full ten minute version is available to view on request.

Hello, my name is Jayne Cooper and I am Artist in  Residence at Arbourthorne Community Primary School. I have been lucky enough to be in this role for fourteen years, which is a very long time, and a good indicator of just how much the arts are valued at Arbourthorne. I think that's why I like being there so much!

I am a visual artist practicing mainly in painting, which is my favourite thing to do. I studied painting at Glasgow School of Art in the late 1990's, and since then I've been earning a living, through one means or another, as an artist. For most artists this usually combines a variety of things, like teaching, community projects, giving talks and making work. I am currently studying for an Masters in Fine Art at the University of Lincoln, and enjoying it very much. It is never too late to go back to formal education and I am passionate about lifelong learning. I will never retire from being an artist. 

I live with my family in Lincolnshire in a market town called Louth. Having a place to make art , be on my own, experiment and be messy is an important part of what I do and so I've always rented spaces to use as a studio. At the moment I am renting a room in an amazing building. It is very old (Georgian) falling to bits and used to be, until relatively recently, a sweet factory! The image above is a view from the outside. As you can see there are holes in the windows (it can get a bit chilly) but also an old clock, which used to be the the town clock of Louth, many years ago. I love being able to work in old buildings that have so much history.

Inside the studio there are three big arched windows which let lots of light in. It is a very sunny place to be. I have an easel in the corner but usually I put paintings on the wall or on the floor when I'm making them. I have lots of paintings on the go at the same time and flit from painting to painting. I love starting new paintings, but am very reluctant to finish them. For me, beginning a painting is full of possibility and potential, it is fast and exciting, but finishing is slow, hard work, because knowing when to finish is difficult. Unfinished paintings hang around my studio for a long time, which is why a deadline, like an exhibition, can be a very good thing! But even then I often take work back to the studio and make changes if I think somethings not right, or even paint over them all together. I like the idea of a painting always in a state of becoming, and open to change.

Home Life

I live in a tall house with my family in Louth in North East Lincolnshire. It is quite far away and usually takes me about two hours to drive to Arbourthorne. I live with my husband Keith, who is a musician and sometimes comes into our school to teach drumming and percussion. He has a little recording studio at home and sometimes I like to sing songs there. I have two lovely children, Madeleine ( who likes art and drama) and Rex (who likes Italy, bugs and ninja wrestling). When the weather is good, we often go to Anderby Creek, on the Lincolnshire coast, in our lemon yellow caravan. We also share our lives with Tulip the rabbit and TidgyMcRunty , a duck who was accidentally born in our back yard four spring-times ago, and has never left.