Interview with Jessica Wilson: “Creation is the rebellion”

Jessica Wilson (b. 1986) is a British visual artist currently based in Glasgow. She studied Fine Art at University College Falmouth (UK) before going on to become part of the Turps Banana Painting Programme, an experimental art school in East London, run by Marcus Harvey and Peter Ashton Jones. Since then she has co-founded the artist led initiative The Juncture and had a two person show at Standpoint Gallery, London. Jessica Wilson has recently completed a Masters at Glasgow School of Art and was a finalist for the 2015 Discerning Eye Drawing Bursary. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is in public and private collections.

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Untitled (2014)

I remember that the first thought that came up to my mind when I came across Jessica Wilson’s paintings was “wow, this has kind of a Mary Heilmann spirit”- and Mary is definitely one of the cool girls-, so I started following and very soon loving Jessica’s work. One of Wilson’s project is an imaginary exhibition under the title, ‘Mary, Blinky, Jessica, Yay!’, where she fantasies about exhibiting her work next to Heliman’s and Palermo’s. So that made me realize that I had captured her essence in some sense from the beginning.

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Average-pretty (2016)

I think that sharing what you love with others creates an invisible bond: a bond that we could name ‘having a particular sensibility’. Maybe is Mary Heilmann what brought me to Jessica’s Wilson art, but what really interests me is her own world.  A series of paintings that relate to echoes, moments, or remembered memories written in a language that we can only give meaning by looking, deeply.

How much can we learn from ourselves through art?

What we can learn is immeasurable. Art makes us question and search. It allows us to place things and to place oneself.

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Mary, Blinky, Jessica, Yay! (2016)

Why painting? And why abstraction?

I’ve always had a love of paint since I was young and my obsession with it continues to grow. For me, painting is discovery.

 I wouldn’t describe my work as abstract. They all come from life. They’re translations, just like Ellsworth Kelly’s works are translations of things he’s seen in the world.

Where do you find beauty?

 I look to nature first to find beauty but it can be found everywhere, from patterns in weather to music and relationships.

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The bricks that built the houses (2016)

What kind of feelings do you wish to communicate with your artworks?

 For me painting and drawing is about communicating things I don’t have the words for. I don’t have words for how I want the viewer to feel, I just want them to take the time to look, really look.

 A fictional character that inspires you

 That’s a tricky one to answer as I think I’m most inspired by other artists. Viv Albertine’s autobiography, ‘Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys’ jumps straight to my mind as an inspirational read. Her song that said “Typical girls / Don’t create / Don’t rebel / Have intuition / Can’t decide”? Well, Albertine decided. Creation is the rebellion.

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