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Jessica is an artistic entrepreneur with a strong practice in image-based theatre and participative art. She has conceived and realised a myriad of artistic ventures, which respond to people and places and involve many hundreds of participants. Her strength is in marrying the strategic and the poetic and her ability to bring artists, non-artists and partners together.
Whilst varying dramatically in scale and process, Jessica's works are defined by rich poetic imagery and strong sensory experiences. They are strong in aesthetics and draw on multiple artforms including visual arts, physical performance, design, puppetry, projection and sound. Jessica has built a profile in recent years creating both in-theatre and small interactive works for children, undertaking significant tours of Australia, Europe and the USA. She has also consistently created large-scale open-air theatre, which is where her practice began. Recently she is driven by a fascination with experiences of narrative in theatrical works that involve physical journey.
Across her 25-year carer, Jessica has raised $4.5 million towards artistic ventures she has visioned herself. This reflects her capacity to form compelling concepts, which are relevant and artistically engaging.
In the past 4 years Jessica’s works has been commissioned and/or presented by the Arts Centre, Artplay, the Footscray Arts Centre, QPAT and the Sydney Children’s Festival as well as 25 Australian venues, 12 City and Shire Council’s and numerous international presenters including The New Victory Theater in New York. She sits on panels and works regularly as a mentor and as a teacher practitioner in university contexts including Monash, Deakin and University of Melbourne.
PASSENGER (Producer, CoDirector): a compelling dramatic journey that takes place with its audience onboard a bus travelling Melbourne's Docklands. Passenger frames the world as a film and evolves an ordinary conversation between two passengers into a dramatic Western film. Passenger will play at London's Greenwich and Docklands Festival in 2019. It has an Australia Council travel grant and was made with funds from COM and the Australia Council.
THE EDGE OF US (Artistic Director): a Vic Govt Small Town Transformation project in 5 tiny Westernport towns resulting in 5 outdoor light galleries and a two-year long program of ambitious participative art making.
I SEE YOU LIKE THIS (Director, Producer): roles are reversed when children use a parent's face as the canvas for a professional photo portrait. ISYLT was developed through Artplay's New Ideas Lab in 2017 and undertook a season at Arts Centre Melbourne this year. Jessica has recently returned from Cologne where she took the work to Syrian and Iraqi communities and has a extensive engagements in Victoria and Europe with the work until 2020.
DWELLING (Director, Producer): large scale open air work for the 2014 Big West Festival inside a custom built house and involving animated projection and participative performance. Dwelling was nominated for a Green Room award for its visual aesthetics and was funded by the Australia Council as well as philanthropics.
STILL AWAKE STILL! (Director, CoProducer, Devisor): a theatre work for children which was premiered at the Arts Centre Melbourne before undertaking big Australian and US tours with Playing Australia support, notably to the New Victory Theater on 42nd Street in NY.
HOW HIGH THE SKY (CoDirector, CoCreator): an acclaimed interactive works for baby / parent pairs, produced by Polyglot for the Melbourne Festival at the Arts Centre.
DREAM MASONS (Creative Producer, CoDirector): a massive spectacle which took place on the wall of the Salamanca Arts Centre and played to 14,000 Hobartians across 3 nights.
DR EGG AND THE MAN WITH NO EAR (Producer, Director, CoWriter): a puppet and animation based work which performed at the Sydney Opera House, the Victorian Arts Centre, in Chicago at Redmoon Theater (2008 - nominated for 4 Jeff Awards), and Canada. DR EGG won the AWGIE for Best Script for Young Audiences in 2011.
Jessica began her career as co-director of BRINK PERFORMANCE GROUP in Brisbane (1994-1999) whose feature work UNDER THE BIG SKY was a theatrical spectacle set on a the Kangaroo Point cliffs for QPAT's Stage X festival. She then moved to Tasmania to take up the Artistic Directorship of Terrapin Theatre between 1999 and 2004 creating many works including THE DARK AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS. In 2004 she moved to Melbourne where her independent practice has been based since.