Jessica is a queer and non-binary sculptural ceramic artist, originating from Vancouver, BC. Jessica earned their BFA from Concordia University, where they specialized in Ceramics. From Jessica’s home studio in Montreal, they produce pieces that focus on how feminism, sexuality and gender are presented and expressed in modern Western society. Through ceramic sculpture, Jessica’s work dismantles taboos and stigmas around the diverse expressions of gender and sexuality, while promoting self-confidence and body positivity. Through the use of nude figures, Jessica questions the shame that individuals are taught to have about their own bodies.
As human behaviour has morphed to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jessica has been creating work that addresses the human response to these uncontrollable external influences. Their work examines the ways in which people interact with others in public spaces, and how their behaviours within their own homes has been altered. Jessica is intrigued by these changes, specifically how people are adapting and continuing to practice self-care.
his piece is one of many from Jessica’s Quarantine Series, which is inspired by how society has adapted in response to the pandemic. Our daily habits, ways of interacting, and coping mechanisms have all been affected while we deal with rising inequality issues, uncertain futures, and the loss of loved ones.
How many masks have you gone through in the last year?
𝘔𝘢𝘴𝘬𝘦𝘥 𝘙𝘢𝘣𝘣𝘪𝘵 (2020)
15” x 9” x 5”
Black stoneware, glaze, wooden stand
𝘐’𝘮 𝘍𝘪𝘯𝘦 (2020)
12” X 7” X 10”
Stoneware mix, underglazes, stains
A few years ago, Jessica had the privilege of spending a month as a volunteer at a bear refuge in Croatia. During this time, Jessica lived alongside wild animals which had become domesticated due to circumstances outside of their control.
Jessica was reminded of these bears as they examined the ways in which people's lives have been confined to their living spaces. Animals which once roamed free, were now confined to an enclosed area. While all their survival needs were satisfied, they were consumed with boredom and confinement. While the ability to stay safe at home during a pandemic is a privilege not many of us have, stillness has become a defining part of our lives, resulting in the rise of mentally exhausted and unhappy people. During these times they’ve adapted to the circumstances of their lives and do what they can to make the best of their situation.
The inclusion of zoomorphism in Jessica’s work accentuates the hidden parts of human identities. Jessica uses animals to represent certain human behaviour and emotions, as every animal comes with its own story and associations. These creatures expose a part of the figure’s character which might not be apparent at first glance.
12” X 11” X 8”
Stoneware, glazes, stains
𝘘𝘶𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘋𝘢𝘺 𝟺𝟸 (2020)
16” x 7” x 10”
Stoneware, glaze, stains
𝘗𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘗𝘳𝘰𝘵𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 (2021)
17” x 20” x 29”
Black stoneware, glaze, stains, wooden pole
This piece examines personal protective equipment (PPE) in another light. Throughout the pandemic, those who have been fortunate enough to access adequate forms of PPE have been taking added precautions to keep themselves and their community safe. Beyond the standard PPE that is recommended, we’ve taken on certain actions and behaviours to protect our bodies and our minds.
𝟸𝟷𝘴𝘵 𝘊𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘺 𝘏𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘏𝘪𝘱𝘱𝘰 (2021)
11” x 4.5” 10”
Stoneware, glaze, gold luster
For all of those who grew up in the 90's, specifically while living in Canada, you might remember the Public Service Announcement about the North American House Hippo. It was a clever commercial that made its rounds on all our television screens, teaching us a very important message: don't believe everything you see on TV!
This piece has become an updated version of that message, a reminder to not believe everything you see on your phones or the internet.
Throughout the pandemic, we’ve had to adapt to many things, one them being our relationship with touch. We’ve all been yearning to see friends or family, craving that physical connection with any loved ones while also combating the fear and anxiety of spreading the virus through our touch.
Calluses help us adapt to changes, making our skin stronger in the places it needs to in order to continue on with our lives. Has the pandemic developed calluses in another form?
Whole Installation 30” x 30” x 80”
Figure 17” x 15” x 27”
Smoke fired stoneware and wood fire porcelain
5” x 6” x 6”
Similar to a message brought out from Alice Gong’s work, this piece reflects on moment of rest and revitalization. During the first wave of the virus it felt as if we were all going into hibernation, waiting for it all to pass. As we still push through these waves, here at ICC were taking moments of rest through daily walks, reading, and naps.
𝘍𝘶𝘤𝘬 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 (2020)
12” x 6” x 10”
Stoneware Mix, underglazes, stains
This is a sentiment that Jessica is sure many of us have been feeling but haven’t been able to truly vocalize. As some of us are working endlessly throughout this pandemic, frustration and exhaustion are daily feelings that pass through us.
𝘞𝘢𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘯 𝘚𝘪𝘭𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 (2020)
10” x 6” x 19.5”
Speckled stoneware, glaze, stains, underglaze
The originality and personality behind all of Jessica’s sculptures construct a unique experience. Some of the work feels extremely relatable while others feel distant but with charm. Be sure to follow Jessica’s Instagram for more whimsical and carefully crafted creatures such as there + stick around ICC and you might be seeing Jessica sooner than you think.