Jess Burgess

“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.”

Adele Smejkal, client liaison at Sotheby’s

My research questions how the virtual space of the digital screen affects the way we view the world, in particular the habit of simultaneously viewing many windows full of disconnected images. Questions surrounding the virtual screen inform my decisions when creating new meanings from disparate forms, and influence the way I disrupt the pictorial composition. I use the process of painting to explore how we consume and discard images with little pause for thought, and suggest that this has given painting a new agency as a slower medium.The subject matter of these paintings, images of women, interiors and objects, in some ways conveys my own experiences or anxieties, albeit from a distance. My research through the ‘virtual window’ has allowed me to reflect on how, as a painter today, technology impacts on the way I look, think and work.

Jess Burgess earned a BA (First) at Norwich University of the Arts (2017), graduating with an MA (Distinction) from the same institution a year later, both in Fine Art. She has been awarded the young artist award by the prestigious Lynn Painter Stainer Prize, and exhibited at the Sir John Hurt Art Prize as well as winning the first Zealous Stories UK painter prize. 

As well as her involvement in an extensive selection of group exhibitions and projects, including FULLY AWAKE a multi-exhibition project organised by ‘Teaching Painting’ group, Dyson Gallery, Royal Collage of Art, London (2018) and Two Lives in Colour, East Gallery, Norwich (2019) she also held her debut solo exhibition at the Fairhurst Gallery; Bread and a Girl (2021) and has gone on to exhibit nationally and internationally. 

Jess Burgess has also had a collection of honourable features in publications such as Friend of the Artists Volume 11: Selection by Anna Mikaela Ekstrand, Angeliki, Kim Jonsson, Adele Smejkal (2019).