Bread and a Girl

Jess Burgess

3rd July – 14th August 2021

The Fairhurst Gallery is proud to announce the first solo exhibition of Norwich-based artist Jess Burgess. ‘Bread and a Girl’ showcases a collection of vibrant paintings by Jess as she works to explore the idea of the contemporary woman. Adopting collage style compositions reminiscent of both high end fashion editorials as well as the Instagram profile grid, the posed figures evoke concerns of perception and presentation. The rich, enticing desserts are in both comparison and conflict with the models. Moreover the conflict and tension between the figures and food arouses themes of social media’s controlling hand over beauty culture. Whilst the underlying concepts of Jess’ pieces uncover the darker side of online presentation, she strikes the balance between the oppressing but also the empowering as her paintings also maintain a sense of uplifting elegance full of food, fashion and fun. 

“Bread and a Girl presents a series of paintings of pastel colour images that capture female figures with a glamorous flair.  Aesthetically pleasing images are arranged on canvases in a collage-like manner, each revealing either a part of the female body dressed in beautiful clothes, or a plate with an appetising looking dish.

Burgess’ work targets several areas of the contemporary woman’s life. From an art historical point of view, women have always been one of the main subjects of art, and today’s artists only confirm that this is an ongoing dialogue that will continue to inspire artists as the position of women in society and culture develops each decade.”

Excerpt is taken from the exhibition catalogue, featuring a text by Adele Smejkal, client liaison at Sotheby’s