In Conversation with Lewes Arts
Lewes Arts is an online creative resource. We aim to offer an insight into what’s happening in the Arts and Crafts scene in and around Lewes. They highlight and promote the vibrant arts scene in Lewes and beyond.
The countdown to Artwave has begun. The popular Lewes and district arts festival, now in it’s 20th year, runs from Saturday 24th August to 8th September. Artwave features over 360 artists and craftspeople at over 200 venues, including artists’ studios, private homes, public areas and the Art Fair at Lewes Town Hall.
Jessica Zoob’s Lewes open house is one of the highlights of the festival. We are sitting having morning tea in the artists’ peaceful garden, which will soon be brimming with people eager to view her exhibition and snap up an original painting or print from the artist herself. ”People come three or four times and look at the paintings and I really like being part of that,” she says. “You can come and look and take your time. However if you’re interested in buying some work, you should book a preview so you can have some quiet time to look at the paintings, without someone elbowing you out of the way!”
On show this year will be recent works, including Flight and Midsummer Dreaming (pictured), alongside a series of original miniatures, and brand new works created specially for Artwave. “I always try to have work that is affordable,” says Jessica. This year prices start at £220 for miniatures, while limited edition prints start at £69. With some of her paintings selling at over £28,000 in galleries, this is certainly an exciting way to start collecting. “I want anyone who likes my work to be able to have it in their homes, even the postcards look really pretty in frames.” she says.
One of the magical things about Artwave is the connection between artist and viewer. You are allowed into places that may not normally be open to the public, and can gain a close insight into how the work is created. “I generally sell through galleries, but you don’t know where your work will end up,” says Jessica. “It’s a clinical process. During Artwave, it’s lovely to have that human contact, from everyone from tiny children to old people. Children tell stories about the paintings – they see whole worlds in them, and tell you what they see. I get a buzz from seeing people experiencing them face to face.”
With a working day that starts at 6.30am and often goes on until 11.30pm, Artwave is also a time for Jessica to stay put for a while. “I absolutely love Artwave,” she says. “The year is really manic, but once I’m set up for Artwave, I’m here, not anywhere else. It’s just nice to sit and chat to people. Hopefully people know that they are very welcome to come and look.”
Jessica will also be launching a new collection of Diasec prints during the festival, at Symposium, an independent wine bar in Lewes. This process, where the artwork is mounted on aluminum and perspex to seal the artwork, has the effect of making the prints look as though they are floating. The light penetration and refraction make the colours brighter and the image sharper. There is also a selection of limited edition prints available online.
Today the Loughran Gallery Summer show opens, featuring Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin alongside Zoob. Juliette Loughran, founder and creator of the Loughran Gallery, discovered Jessica when she saw her paintings in a private collection and immediately wanted her in the show. Loughran will be hosting Jessica’s next solo show in London, ‘Dancing With Colour’.
Jessica moved to Lewes 9 years ago “I love it here. It takes two minutes to be up on the Downs. Everywhere I look there’s something – the miniatures are inspired by the Downs, the lines, fields. There’s something about getting to know a piece of land intimately that is comforting. As opposed to the City – all greys – the Downs are such a source – it’s so easy to get out and clear my head. Cliffs, Coastline, light, all influence my work. People say that my paintings are tranquil, healing, calm. This comes from living here in Sussex. This is how I feel. It’s not wild or craggy. You need to notice the smaller things, the delicate light and the chalkiness of the colour.”
Current projects are taking the artist back to the mindset of past projects for the theatre. She is collaborating with Swarovski on large scale, architectural sculptures. “I like working big,” she says. “The sculpture exercises a part of my mind, the 3D part, that I used when I was a theatre designer.” Jessica is sourcing British marble from Somerset for her three metre tall sculptures, which will encapsulate her painting and the play of light through an art form that you can walk around. The finished work will be unveiled at Decorex in September this year.
Venturing into textiles, a global Zoob collection is being developed by Romo. What started off as an idea to create a few pieces now comprises a full collection including cushions, rugs, linens and wallpaper. It will launch in Paris in January.
I highly recommend you take the time to pop in and meet Jessica during Artwave. Viewing the works online can give you an impression of the paintings but nothing like experiencing the real thing.
Please contact email@example.com for information on works available for sale or bespoke requests.
Online shop: jesszoob.wpengine.com/shop
Artwave Open House : Holly House, 26 De Montfort Road, Lewes BN7 1SR
Open: Weekends 24th, 25th, 31st August, 1st, 7th, 8th September
Hours: 12-6pm or by appointment
Preview: By appointment from 19th August.
This is a guest post from Lewes Arts. You can read the original here