Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, 1986, Jessica identifies as an interdisciplinary visual artist. She is a qualified Alexander Technique Practitioner (2007 – 2011) & B-Tech Honours graduate from the University of Johannesburg (2012 – 2015). She has worked as a curator, workshop facilitator, project manager and participated in numerous group shows, both nationally and internationally. She has been selected as a finalist in the following prestigious South African art competitions: Sasol New signatures, Absa L’Atelier, Thami Mnyeni Fine Art Awards, PPC imaginarium.
In 2016 she received a semester exchange bursary to the Museum School of Fine Arts, in Boston, focusing on Sound art and Performance art and participated in an intensive 10-day Public Art Lab class at Harvard Graduate School of Design. She lived in Fort Point studios during this 5 month period. Later that year she spent 3 months in residency at the Falconer Foundry, a local Bronze casting foundry based in KwaZulu Natal. 2017 presented a 3 month residency at Nirox Sculpture Park.
The following year, she was invited back to Nirox for an 8 month contract as a co-assistant curator for Not a Single Story, a collaboration between The Nirox Foundation and Wanas Konst (Sweden). The end of 2019 presented a 6 week residency in Seydisfjordur Iceland, followed by a 5 week cultural exchange residency at Wanas Konst. In 2021 she co-curated a project initiated by Anne Roberts. ‘Margins of Error,’ was a collaboration between the Real DMZ Project, KOFICE, Embassy of the Republic of Korea & Nirox Foundation. She also participated as an artist, receiving a grant from the Claire & Eduardo Villa Trust for a collaborative project titled ‘Sections (since 2020),’ conceived with German artist Marco Miehling.
Jessica’s practice has many languages. She considers herself a maker, a learner, a narrative creator, a healer, a teacher, a philosophical thinker, a decontextualizer of objects, one who draws, listens, performs, sculpts, paints, writes. Her focus is geared towards collaborative, experiential performance & installation practices.
My fields of interest include eco feminism, queer theory, corporeal phenomenology, body politics & identity, in conversation with eastern philosophical practices of universal oneness, empathy & compassion. I am constantly pulled towards the tension between the known & unknown, the seen & unseen, the tangible & invisible realms. Conservation is a deep, visceral impulse within me. I am a frequent observer of Einstein’s theory, which emphasizes the inability of energy being created or destroyed, how ‘it can only be changed from one form to another’.
Linked to inhabiting ones full spectrum of corporeal embodiment, she positions herself in conversation with site-specific responsive actions, movements, rituals or gestures. In alignment with the true nature of perceived solid matter, these moments are impermanent, fleeting, sometimes documented, sometimes archived, sometimes recorded, sometimes inscribed, other times seemingly lost, even forgotten.
On the level of the formless, these subtle vibrational agencies of communication reveal a depth of being somewhat beyond her own intellectual comprehension. What often transpires through these multifaceted process oriented practices, is the field of energy and intent behind her work, which overrides the ego as the formless moves through her to express itself as form.