Artist Statement

Jessica’s work centres on exploring endangered species and experimenting with paper as a medium. Paper is painted, collaged, structured into pieces of 2 and 3 dimensions. A Tudor Paper Galleon was entirely constructed from Tarasen grass paper, using traditional papier mache techniques 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-feet 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. Each of these is an exploration of wild flora and fauna. Jessica is a visiting artist and runs art events at 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 was 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!

Recent Highlights

Guest artist at The Garden Museum, Lambeth 2018
Paper Petal Collages for Bath exhibition Summer 2018
A collection of Paper Birds for Tiffany Jewellery shoot May 2018
A series of “Papel Picados” designed in paper and digitally for Disney Pixar to celebrate the movie Coco London 2018
A Tiffany Drawing Day at the New York Historical Society, NYC 2018

Paper Barn Owls for Waterstones Bath Christmas 2017
A Paper Herbarium and Tudor figure of Mrs Lyte for Lytes Carey National Trust 2017
A residency at Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights making Mr B’s Reading Tree paper cut 2017
An exhibition of paper cut Botanicals – Herbs, Seaweeds, Roots – in Bath, 2017
A collection of Winter themed cards for Dutch publisher BBNC 2017

Orlando-inspired Tudor Paper Ruffs for Burberry’s The Makers’ House, London Fashion Week 2016
Tynetesfield 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
Floral cuts fabric design for Tribee Fashion, USA 2016

Illustrator for Bistronomy for Rizzoli, New York – February 2015
Exhibitor of Lunar Tales paper cut for the MEAA Lunar New Year – January 2015
Designer of The 12 Dancing Princesses for Jessica Charleston Couture – January 2015

Maker of the Seahorse Lantern for the Holburne Art Gallery Procession – November 2014
Exhibitor in Paper Made at the Jamestown Art Centre, Rhode Island USA, July – September 2014
Designer and Illustrator for The Reckoning album by Ethan Johns, June 2014
Exhibitor of paper wigs in The New Georgians at Orleans House Gallery Richmond, UK 2014
Designer/maker of collage first ever prize for The Bath Novel Award, 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

Qualifications

MA Illustration and Animation
Sept 2006 – Nov 2008 Kingston University
M.Sc. Politics and Administration
Sept 86 – July 88 Birkbeck College, London University
BA Hons Media Arts
Sept 83 – 86 Westminster University
Grande Diplome Culinaire
July 81 – Aug 83 Ecole La Varenne, Paris
Art Foundation Year Graphic Design and Illustration
Sept 77 – July 78 Canterbury College of Art
GCSEs 9 O levels, 2 O/A levels, 3 A levels
Sept 72 – July 77 Wombwell Hall School