Janis Ridley grew up in rural Co Durham. Both her parents were political lefties, liberal and devoted to nature. Her father taught in a Girls Grammar School in the city. She spent a lot of time outdoors with friends having adventures in nature. Often they were with horses or being in nature on her own.
Ridley completed a Foundation Course at Newcastle upon Tyne School of Art and Design where she discovered wax as a sculptural medium, and the art of photography. She then attained a B A. Hons. in Fine Art at Exeter College of Art in 1976. She took a gap year mid course to study in Switzerland.
Following College she taught life drawing at Newcastle upon Tyne School of Art and then life drawing and painting in Exeter. She received an Arts Council award for a Solo show in Exeter in 1983 the then Art College own gallery, Exe Gallery .
In 1995-1997 Ridley made teaching Video conference calls to teachers with BEON, an early on line teaching platform at the University of Exeter School of Education, and they produced a film Color and Movement.In 1998 she had made the transition from painting to making sculpture full time.
She was elected to the Royal Society of Sculptors in 2002.
Public sculptures in the UK are in Topsham, Millennium Spirit of Youth ,Exeter Cathedral
Unfolding Love , University of Exeter, Stargazer, Stratford upon Avon, Messenger with Bird, Kingscote Park,Gloucester, Isness.
In South Korea, Rugged Angel, is one of 13 sculptures in the collection at Bundang
Memorial Park in 2017.
She has exhibited work frequently at the London Art Fairs since 2010 and at Hong Kong and New York Art Fairs. Work is in private collections in UK ,France ,Netherlands, Germany, Hong Kong and USA.
Selected galleries Ridley has exhibited with are Edgar Modern, Bath, Beaux Arts, Bath, Medici Gallery London, Stour Gallery, Coombe Gallery Dartmouth, Alan Kluckow Gallery, Moncrief -Bray Gallery, Josie Eastwood Gallery, The Garden Gallery Hampshire, The
Sculpture Park Farnham, University of Exeter, Otomys, Lympstone Manor.
She is included in 50 Women Sculptors published in 2020.
She had a Solo Exhibition in Dartmouth at Coombe Gallery 2021.