Jess Forster


Artist Statement 

My current body of work is an experimental inquiry into my relationship with the natural environment. I feel a deep affinity with the bush, waterways and land formations that surround where I live, and where I grew up (in the Riverina, South Western NSW). Currently, I am exploring the contrast between our instinctual ‘nesting’ and ‘nomadic’ notions as humans. The magnetising pull of place and home, versus an overwhelming curiosity to journey.

My felt artworks and sculptures are observations of the cyclic, miniscule processes in our world. I observe – a tiny seedling poking through the earth, ant highways, dripping sap, opening seed-pods, bark of ancient gums and the organic patterns of silt drying on the edges of billabongs. I like to imagine these tiny happenings out of their context – under a microscope, from the air, or if I was nestled inside.

Current works feature locally collected fibres, native seeds and earth pigments. These are embedded and dyed into topographic landscapes, hollowed felt nests, and three-dimensional limbs. Some pieces have been left outside at various locations where I feel a sense of place. This has allowed natural weathering, colouring and the germination of seeds. The forms have become a conceptual mapping-tool. They are physical representations of my location, and emotional constructs of place and ‘home’.

Social Media: @jessforster_design 

2015  Bachelor of Design – University of New South Wales: Art & Design
2015  Bachelor of Art Education – University of New South Wales: Art & Design

Solo Exhibitions (selected)
2018  Wagga Wagga Regional Art Gallery – Feature Artist, NSW
2018   Kindred of the Dust, Timeless Textiles Gallery, Newcastle NSW
2018   Dust & Gums, Corner Store Gallery, Orange NSW
2018   Nesting, Artists on Parade, Tumbarumba NSW
2018   Eastern Riverina Arts Window Gallery, Feature Artist, Wagga Wagga NSW

Group Exhibitions (selected)
2018  Subterranean: Australian Response with Charlotte Sehmisch, Timeless Textiles, Newcastle
2018   Pushing the Medium: Curated by Alex Wisser, Narrandera Arts Centre, Narrandera NSW
2017  ‘Land, Home, Country’, Griffith Regional Art Gallery, Griffith NSW
2017  The Container Gallery, University of New South Wales, Sydney
2017  Small Holdings, Timeless Textiles Gallery, Newcastle NSW

2017  Young Regional Artist Scholarship (fellowship), Create NSW
2017  Winner, Tumut Art Prize – Textiles, Tumut NSW