Born in Bairnsdale, Victoria, Jan Davis studied printmaking with Danny Moynihan at Phillip Institute of Technology in Melbourne from 1978 to 1981.
Her first solo show was in 1988 at Niagara Galleries in Melbourne. The artist’s association with grahame galleries + editions began in 1997. Davis has mounted seventeen solo shows since 1988, including four at grahame galleries + editions and three at Regional Galleries in NSW.
Her work has been included in international group exhibitions including Craft from Scratch : Eine Spur von Handarbeit, 8. Triennale für Form und Inhalte – Australia and Germany – held in 2000 at the Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; Kyoto Hanga International Print Exhibition, Kyoto City Art Museum, and Fukuyama Art Museum, Japan in 2014 and Une histoire du livre d’artiste australien, Université Rennes, France in 2015.
In 1995, her seven-volume artists book SOLOMON won the Fremantle Print Prize, the first artist’s book and the first digital work to do so, and in 2018 she won the Swan Hill Drawing Award. She has undertaken residencies in Hawaii, in Italy, and in China. In 2014-15 she undertook a Siganto Artist’s Book Creative Fellowship at the State Library of Queensland where she sourced early farm diaries to produced ‘Drawing on the Ground’. She has presented her work at international conferences in Canada, the UK and Estonia.
Her works are held in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, the National Library of Australia, Parliament House Collection in Canberra, the State Library of Queensland, State Library of Victoria and in many State, Regional and University collections.
After a career teaching printmaking and drawing at various Australian Colleges and Universities over a 25 year period, the artist now works in her studio on the North Coast of New South Wales. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Southern Cross University where she concluded her academic career. Davis is best known for her artist’s books, drawings and digital prints which are increasingly centred around themes of gardening and sustainable food production.