Jessica’s work centres on experimenting with the possibilities of paper as a medium to capture movement, shape and space in figurative pieces of two and three dimensions.
A Tudor Paper Galleon, entirely constructed from Tarasen grass paper, using traditional papier mache techniques, was a recent site specific commission, for the First Cut exhibition at the Tudor House Museum in Southampton. Her dry papier mache technique was used to create 1/20th scale model of Hampton Court Palace in the Cartoon Gallery to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the palace.
Conservation and nature are dominant themes in her work. For an exhibition in Rhode Island, USA, she chose to explore imperilled American Wildflower species in a giant 20 foot long collage.
Wild birds find their way into many pieces. A sculpture of a shoe is moulded by cut-out birds; a tutu is dotted with cut feathers, a life size Tudor ball gown is adorned with a bird of paradise, a parasol is a whirling peacock. Other inspirations come from her love of the countryside around Bath, ancient embroidery, tapestries, costumes, lace, knitting, stained glass.
In her work as an illustrator, she recently designed The Book of Snow by Robert Seatter, a poetry collection with cut outs, collages and 3D collographs. She is the in-house illustrator for English Heritage, bringing humour and personality to characters from history. In 2015 she drew a giant Winter Tangled Forest drawing 12 feet high which the Holburne Museum displayed in its foyer.
She wrote “The Art of Papercutting” (Search Press) – a monograph on her paper art over 7 years. The book contains many examples of her illustrations, design work, commissions, exhibition work and student pieces from her workshops. Jessica has also drawn 5 colouring books – one called Tangle Wood which was a world-wide bestseller – and most recently the Tiffany Glass Coloring Book for the New York Historical Society which has just been chosen as the Top Colouring Book of 2017 by a popular blog.
She is a visiting artist and runs art events at the Garden Museum, the Tower of London, The Wallace Collection, The Holburne Museum in Bath, Shepherds Bookbinders Shop in London, the Sir John Soane Museum, the British Museum, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, Dulwich Picture Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Museum of London, Arnolfini Gallery, the Djanogly Gallery, the Museum of East Asian Art, the Royal West of England Academy where she was a Bristol Drawing School Tutor, and many others. She has been a guest artist at Bath University’s The Edge centre, teaching her course for those who like to draw dangerously:Drawing Life with a Knife!
Paper Maze for the Forest of Imagination, Bath Riverside open air 2018
Mr B’s Reading Tree exhibit and residency, Bath 2017
Roots & Herbs exhibit, Chandos, Bath 2017/18
Giant Spider Mama for the Forest of Imagination 2017
Mrs Henry Lyte and a Paper Garden for Lytes Carey NT, 2017
Orlando-inspired Tudor Paper Ruff pieces for Burberry’s The Makers’ House exhibit, London 2016
Tyntesfield Paper Tree for the Forest of Imagination, Bath 2016
Bluebeard Inked Cut-outs for the Everhart Museum, USA 2016
Connect the Dots – a giant cutout for the Jamestown Art Centre, USA 2016
Exhibitor of Lunar Tales paper cut for the MEAA Lunar New Year – January 2015
Window display of The 12 Dancing Princesses for Jessica Charleston Couture – January 2015
Giant Tangled Forest Drawn Installation for the Holburne Museum, Bath 2015
Exhibitor in Paper Made at the Jamestown Art Centre, Rhode Island USA, July – September 2014
Exhibitor of paper wigs in The New Georgians at Orleans House Gallery Richmond, UK 2014
Featured Artist and maker of the Paper Tiger Gate for the Forest of Imagination, Bath, UK, 2014
Exhibition of cut paper work at The Chagford Inn, Devon, UK September 2014
Featured Artist in First Cut paper exhibition at Tudor House Museum, Southampton, UK, 2014
Guest Artist at Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Devon on Into Lace exhibition events, 2014
Dancer Silhouettes for Use It event at The Ned, London, 2018
Minerva Painted Owl for Cumberwell Park, 2018
Papel Picados for Disney Pixar, 2018
Suffragette Timeline installation at the Tower of London, 2018
White Paper Birds for Tiffany Jewellery exhibit, London 2018
The Tiffany Glass Coloring Book for the New York Historical Society, USA 2017
Historical Illustrations for English Heritage, 2015 – 2018
Dutch Winter Card designs for BBNC, Amsterdam, 2017
Lyncombe Vale, If Not For You, Where’s Alex, Family – series of large scale papercuts, 2017/18
Floral cuts fabric design for Tribee Fashion, USA 2016
Illustrator for The Book of Snow, 2016
Illustrator for Bistronomy for Rizzoli, New York – February 2015
Illustrator of the best-selling Tangle Wood, Tangle Bay, Tangle Magic colouring books, Search Press 2015 – 2016
Maker of the Seahorse Lantern for the Holburne Art Gallery Procession – November 2014
Designer and Illustrator for The Reckoning album by Ethan Johns, June 2014
Designer/maker of collage first ever prize for The Bath Novel Award, 2014