Final year project
Keeping In Touch [Read more]
'Poppy Field', 10 x 12", Acrylic Paint on Canvas. From the series: The Poppy Project
Poppies have become a symbol of remembrance, particularly for wars. During WW1, what was beautiful scenery turned to fields of destruction and mud as the countryside was blasted, bombed and continuously fought on. Where nothing else could grow, the bright red fields started to flourish.
The Poppy Project is significantly special to Jess as she sold her first painting on Armed Forces Day during the middle of COVID-19. Like many others, she found herself financially in trouble during the global pandemic, left with no choice but to be resilient, strong and determined to still be independently stable. Poppies were the perfect choice of flower to reflect her troubles.
These resilient flowers blossomed in the middle of so much chaos and destruction, growing in the thousands upon thousands. Poppies perfectly symbolise the unity of the UK in difficult times.
The Poppy Project is a current series of six individual works, ranging from A1 to A4 size, that has been commissioned for homes all across the U.K. from Lancashire to London.
Detail of 'Sister #1', 8 x 8", Acrylic Paint on Canvas. From the series: The Sunflower Season
Sunflowers follow the sun. But did you know when it is cloudy and dull, sunflowers turn to each other to share their energy? Now imagine if people do that. Jess has a history of ill health, so positivity is something she radiates off and was therefore inspired by the idea of humans being sunflowers - looking to each other for help, comfort and compassion. The Sunflower Season are highly textured works. She is a firm believer that her work should be felt, as well as seen. Jess suffers from anxiety and noticed that she was drawn to materials that she could touch, anything to keep her hands distracted and calm when anxious. She has been able to reflect this in her own work, creating highly textured pieces that give a sensory experience to its audience. The sunflowers are a current series of five, displayed in homes from Loughborough to Cornwall and aim to bring about hope and unity in these difficult times.
Detail of 'Poppy Field', 10 x 12", Acrylic Paint on Canvas. From the series: The Poppy Project.
The social norm of gallery etiquette is to appreciate the art visually and from a distance. Jess' intention was to reduce the space between spectator and art, using touch to enhance the art experience. "A shape is nothing but a sum of limited views, and the consciousness of a shape is a collective entity. The sensible elements of which it is made up cannot lose the opacity which defines them as sensory given.” (Merleau-Ponty, 1945) Kapoor’s forms inspired Jess to develop off-canvas. Canvas limited her on the dimensions she could achieve, whereas sculptures such as Kapoor's Newborn (2019) and Tsunami (2018), such organic and unusual forms could still be accessible from every angle with only a minimum touching the floor, making each surface available to investigate, through sight, or in relation to Jess' concept; touch.
Jess takes a phenomenological approach to art as she integrates and allows the sense of touch to her highly textured paintings.
Taking an adverse approach to gallery etiquette, Jess encourages spectators to touch her art, embracing the unusually highly textured and sculpted paint. In the Loughborough University Creative Arts Exhibition, the sensory experience is heightened by the forms of installation. Her exhibition consists of multiple 4ft spheres, allowing the audience to access 360 degrees of the painting. The dimension and scale of such work manipulate its audience, their movement pathways and the space they possess. The exhibition demonstrates how the intentionally structured organisation of space forces proximity, creates self-awareness and includes the possibility of travelling through it. If an artist takes a phenomenological approach, they can predetermine what the viewer should experience and not give an open-ended choice to how the audience experiences the art.
Whilst selling similar canvases and being available for commission work, Jess' ambition is to develop her business plan as a Creative Careers Consultant for young people. This is encouraging disadvantaged students into creative higher education or the arts industry through motivational talks and practical art workshops, to prepare them for interviews and the potential beyond their comfort zone. Widening participation, challenging stereotypes and educating people on the job opportunities within the creative industry is vital to continue inspiring the next generation and encouraging their artistic flare. This work will assist in making a world that is creatively innovative, imaginatively smart and uses the full artistic skillset that young people already hold, particularly with technology, social media and most importantly resilience. Jess' goal is to encourage teens to defy their odds, dream bigger and not let negative society fulfil their prophecy.
Final year project
Keeping In Touch
Santander Initiate Fund 2021
Loughborough Enterprise Network Freelancer Programme 2021
The Student Gallery Featured Artist 2020
The Social Distance Art Project Featured Artist 2020
Eclectic Magazine September Featured Artist 2020
Eclectic Magazine August Featured Artist 2020
Graduating with a diploma in professional studies, Jess completed her placement year at The Prince of Wales Hospice. *Wrongly* conditioned by society to believe she needed another career alongside art, she developed an interest in business and merged her love for helping people to become a Corporate and Partnerships Fundraiser in West Yorkshire. She increased charitable profitability through retaining and building on established business relationships and obtaining new supporters through research and networking events. With a front-facing job, one of her best qualities is building rapport with people, this can take persuasion, empathy, relatability and just a friendly personality. Corporate Social Responsibility is vital for businesses and non-profitable organisations alike, bringing together the community and lending a helping hand, whether that's through volunteering, environmental impact or charitable donations.