Since graduating with first class honours in Fine Art from Norwich University of the Arts in 1997, Jessa has had her art work included in more than thirty exhibitions in London and around the country, while continuing to work on projects involving arts and mental health.
Jessa has been working on this new series of drawings engaging with the sensual poetry of the ‘Song of Songs’ since going to Italy twice in a week in April 2016. The first trip to Venice was inspirational in terms of experiencing the golden and reflected light in the city itself, as well as in paintings such as Tintoretto’s ‘Miracle of the Manna’. Seeing disembodied hands in Fra Angelico’s frescoes and then the illuminated manuscripts in what could be considered the first public library in the same complex of San Marco in Florence on the second trip, led to the idea of telling a love story through hands and what we hold.
Jessa makes no apology for autobiography in her art work, hoping that materialising an individual viewpoint can help us to see the personal is political. Drawing attention to the emboldened voice of the woman claiming her sexuality in the ‘Song of Songs’, one of only two books in the bible not to mention G-d (the other, the feminist story of Esther), but elevating the narrative of a woman and a man taken up with their desire for each other, could be read as a call to think about what we revere and love.