Jan Downes is a ceramic artist based in Sydney, Australia. She has been practicing and exhibiting locally and internationally for the past 30 years.

Her delicate porcelain sculptures explore her experiences of landscapes, language and light, addressing concepts of fragility, translation and belonging. In the past, she produced bodies of work that examined communication and the security of the domestic space.

Southern Ice and Lumina are her porcelains of choice. Downes uses this clay body very skilfully, often pushing it to its limits, creating incredibly thin walls of clay that exhibit a beautiful translucency.  In her exploration of light, she etches into the surface of thin walls of clay to provide variation in tone when the work is illuminated. 

She also experiments with printmaking on clay, using screen-printing, intaglio and relief printing. 



Master of Fine Art, University of Newcastle, 2001    

Graduate Diploma in Art, University of Newcastle, 1993

Bachelor of Arts (Visual Arts), Sydney College of the Arts, University

of Sydney, 1991

Solo Exhibitions

2015                Mu Gallery, Mosman, Sydney

2009                John Miller Gallery, Newcastle

2006                John Miller Gallery, Newcastle

2001                Master of Fine Art exhibition, Back to Back Gallery, Newcastle

2001                Sturt Gallery, Mittagong

Recent Group Exhibitions

2018                 541 Art Space

2018                 Mugged, May Space

2017                Ceramic Revisions II, May Space, Collaboration with Helen Mueller

2017                Form, Surface, Structure, Sculpture Kerrie Lowe Gallery, Newtown

2016                Gold Coast International Ceramic Art Award

2016                Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize

2016                North Queensland Ceramic Award

1992-2015       Various exhibitions in Australia and international


2010                Ceramics Prize, Muswellbrook Open Art Prize

2002                The Artesian Art Prize, John Miller Gallery

1992                University of Newcastle Annual Student Acquisitive Prize