Jessica Browne, graduated MA Fine Art from Sunderland University last year, and is now studying for her PhD, also at Sunderland. She says her work – 21 paintings that cover the wall of the new café – was inspired by the natural world, and her native North East.
“I’m a self-employed artist, and loaning some of my work to the University seemed like a great opportunity to get some of my art seen,” says Jessica. “Also, I’d just moved studios and I had way too many paintings, so it was nice to make a bit of space!
“The work is abstract, but inspired by botanical and plants from the region.”
Jessica’s work is making a splash in the region – as well as the work on display in the café, she is also one of a number of artists who have created surfboards for the exhibition, City by the Sea, on display at Sunderland’s Beam, the new development at the city’s former Vaux site.
“I really like the idea of creating work for my home city. I think you can have a sustainable career as an artist if you stay in the North East.”