We were lucky enough to catch the exhibition on the last day of opening at the Joseph Wales Studios in Margate. And what a joy it was! We’ve been admiring Jessie’s work from afar for a while, so it was great to be able to get up close to these stunning pieces.
We also love that the works are made from trimmings from previous works, scraps, upcycled clothes and the offcuts from clothing manufactures. A sustainable art practice is always going to win our hearts over!
The playful, abstract patterns and joyful colours really brightened an otherwise grey day in Margate. We returned to the studio feeling inspired and feeling very lucky to be surrounded by so many wonderful makers here in Thanet, Kent.
Jessie is part of a wider community of artists who are helping to lift the fibre arts from the merely ‘domestic’ and ‘women’s work’ categories to a more elevated status within the art world, following in the footsteps of the great Bauhaus weavers from the twentieth century who paved the way for female artists working with textiles. And more recently, artists such as those women in the Gee’s Bend Collective, being given, retrospectively, the recognition and status that they deserve within the art world.
Jessie’s work features on the front cover of a recently published book: ‘Women's Work: From feminine arts to feminist art’. A book that is ‘a celebration of the innovative, brilliant artists reclaiming the idea of ‘women’s work […] Women’s Work tells the story of this radical change, highlighting some of the modern and contemporary artists who dared to defy this hierarchy and who, through, experimentation and invention, transformed their medium. The work of these women has helped underscore the ongoing value of these art forms within the history of art, championing ‘women’s work’ as powerful mediums worthy of celebration’. We would highly recommend this book for anybody interested in looking into the subject at a deeper level.
Here’s to all the radical female artists stepping into their power!
- Elise x