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 artistic and her ability to bring artists, non-artists and partners together.
Her works are rich and poetic. They are realised with high production values and draw on multiple artforms including physical performance, design, puppetry, projection and music. Jessica has built a profile in recent years creating theatre and small interactive works for children, undertaking significant touring of Australia and the USA. She has also consistently created large-scale open-air theatre, which is where her practice began.
Across her 20-year carer, Jessica has personally raised $4.5 million towards artistic ventures she has visioned herself. This reflects her capacity to form compelling concepts, which are contemporary and artistically exciting.
In the past 3 years Jessica’s works has been commissioned and/or presented by the Arts Centre, the Sydney Opera House, Artplay, the Footscray Arts Centre, QPAT and the Sydney Children’s Festival as well as 25 Australian venues 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.
Jessica was Artistic Director of Terrapin Theatre between 1999 and 2004 securing triennial funding on two occasions and directing many works including THE DARK AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS (2000) which played at APAM and in the Ten Days on the Island Festival in 2004. She directed and raised nearly $500,000 for the massive spectacle DREAM MASONS, which took place on the wall of the Salamanca Arts Centre and played to 14,000 Hobartians across 3 nights. This year Jessica secured a $350,000 SMALL TOWN TRANSFORMATION grant for a group of waterline townships in the Bass Valley. Her most recent work was the outdoor spectacle, DWELLING which she devised and directed for the opening of the Big West Festival. Dwelling was nominated for a Green Room Award this year.
Other project highlights include; STILL AWAKE STILL! (2011&14) which toured USA including a showcase at IPAY and a short stint in the Broadway district at the New Victory Theatre, and across Australia in a hefty 25 venue tour; HOW HIGH THE SKY co-directed for Polyglot in the Melbourne Festival (2012); and DR EGG AND THE MAN WITH NO EAR (2007) which performed at the Sydney Opera House, the Victorian Arts Centre, in Chicago at Redmoon Theater (2008 - nominated for 4 Jeff Awards), and Canada (2010 - Vancouver, Whitehorse, Ottawa and the Coups de Theatre, Montreal). 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.
ARTISTIC STATEMENT: I have a background in puppet-based theatre and epic-scaled outdoor performance and borrow heavily from film and installation art. I am driven to create atmosphere with my work and creating work through a socio-anthropological lens and exploring the trajectory from the easily understood towards the potent abstract and seek to find the poetic somewhere on that journey.