‘People don’t construct their identity in a vacuum; they construct who and what they are in conversation with others’

Stephen Duncombe ‘Notes from the Underground: zines and the politics of alternative culture’

I make zines (hand made DIY magazines) both solo and collaboration with others. I’m attracted to zinemaking for many reasons: because they are democratic – anyone can make one with the simplest of materials, they are immediate (all you need is access to a photocopier) and you don’t have to wait for permission. Zinemaking is empowering – you make the rules about what you want to say, and how you want to say it. I also love the aesthetic of hand made zines, their rawness and energy. Reading a zine that someone is like a little trip inside someone”s head.

My zinemaking is really varied – from fanzines about my enthusiasms- favourite filmmakers and musicians and artists such as Werner Herzog the Flaming Lips, Mark E Smith and Henry Darger; to perzines (personal zines) about trying to pay attention more and a zine of my Nana’s memories; to image-based collage zines, and zines about social and political issues that I care about. Zines are intrinsically political – by taking the means of production into our own hands, we are bypassing mediation and permission.

As an artist, zines appeal to me as they are a direct and affordable means to distribute my work on my own terms, bypassing conventional art world channels. Zines allow for experimentation and messing with boundaries – they are a good place to mash up art and life. Zines allow us to explore identity and ideas in a fluid way.

Zines are also an important of connecting with other people – coming together to make a zine about something you care about, or communicating something you want to say to people. Zines build community, understanding and connection with each other. This is so important in these times we are living in.

See some of my zines online on issuu

See/buy some of my zines in my online shop

See recent zine projects and events I’ve been involved in

Read my blog post ‘How to Make a Zine’


Moving Image

Moving Image

Light Breaks Where No Sun Shines (2014)

‘Frieze of life, dance of death, to the drone of half forgotten images.’

A short film poem with sound made in collaboration with my brother, musician Brian McEwan, in response to Dylan Thomas’ poem ‘Light Breaks Where No Sun Shines’. The film was commissioned for the Laugharne Castle Poetry and Film Festival which took place 6–8 June 2014

laugh/pray (2008)

An  excerpt from a  video mix from audio-visual performance piece “Fortunes” made  in collaboration with musician Ian Tothill, as “Of Dreaming Faces”). “Fortunes” was performed at South Square Gallery, Bradford, Theatre in The Mill, Bradford, and Hebden Bridge Trades Club, 2008-9.

reprise (2005)

Experimental short film with sound



oh wait collagecover
Making collages is my way of trying to make sense of the world. I rifle around charity shops, markets, jumble sales and antique shops and use the things I find – postcards to unwanted books and magazines, fabric patterns, old maps and other ephemera – and repurpose them to make new images and stories.

One of my favourite writers, Rebecca Solnit says in her book The Faraway Nearby

We never tell the story whole because a life isn’t a story; it’s a whole Milky Way of events and we are forever picking out constellations from it to fit who and where we are.

I often think of this when I’m making collage. The process of cutting out, of arranging and rearranging different elements, serves as a means of being able to create, and recreate meaning – whatever is needed for this moment, this day.

I also use collage a lot when I’m working with other people to support their creativity – as it is such a democratic, accessible and rewarding ways of making images. Collage can reflect the complexity, messiness, and contingency of human experience. Through arranging, placing, and remixing of visual elements, we can speak in a different language about ourselves and our experiences. We can discover, or rediscover, what’s important to us, what we know, and who we are.

Watch a presentation about my collage practice recorded for the 2020 online Collage Colloquium hosted by London Centre for Book Arts in association with The Centre for Fine Print Research.

Collisions Book

collisions book

Collisions is a book of photocollage work by Jean, made in collaboration with and published by Gordian Projects in 2020.

The book presents recent collage work, interspersed with a conversation between Brian Lewis of Longbarrow Press, Jean and Tom Rodgers, co-editor at Gordian Projects, and is available here.

Altered Artforum collages

An ongoing series of collage works begun in 2018 made with found copies of Artforum magazine chanced upon in a charity shop in Hebden Bridge.

These works were featured in the Relaunch Issue One of online art, sound & writing journal SoAnyway

Altered Postcards

Collages made with found postcards, an ongoing series since 2015.

Occasionally available to buy here