An Artist’s Journey
Textile artist Jessica B. Watson will be presenting a lecture to University of Newcastle fine art students on 9 October as part of the Conversations in Art lecture series.
Jessica will be speaking about her time at an Artists Residency at Rimbun Dahan, Malaysia in 2010 and 2011, in her lecture titled Gecko on my Shoulder - an artist's journey through Malaysia: A year of cultural exploration through ceremonies, symbols and textiles.
After beginning her studies in Visual Art at the University of Newcastle in 1995, Jessica moved into the study of design during an exchange at the Gothenburg School of Art and Design at the Gothenburg University in Sweden. At the end of her exchange period, Jessica transferred her studies to the School of Design and Crafts and graduated in 2000 with a Master of Fine Art and Applied Crafts.
Jessica has exhibited in Sweden, Spain, Germany, Malaysia and Australia. Her work has explored the idiosyncrasies of hawkers on Rio de Janeiro's famed beaches, the seasons of Sweden, Australia's squiggly bark Eucalyptus and most recently while on a yearlong, fully funded Artists Residency, the cultural cauldron of Malaysia.
Jessica has been awarded numerous grants and sponsorships for her art making, particularly from Sweden and Malaysia. In 2010 the cultural centre Rimbun Dahan in Malaysia invited Jessica to represent Australia and work with her art making at Rimbun Dahan for twelve months. She has also been awarded numerous grants from the Swedish Artists Committee including a yearlong Working Artist's Grant as well as the City of Gothenburg's Arts grant. Jessica has designed costumes for dance since 2000 with her costume designs being shown at the Gothenburg Opera.
Jessica's work is held in collections in Australia, Sweden, Malaysia and the UK. Inspired by her return to Australia, Jessica is presently developing an exhibition focusing on the Australian landscape for her first major solo in Australia.