ABOUT

Jessa Fairbrother (b. London) is a British visual artist whose work spans stitch, photography, performance and drawing. The body is her main material.

Raised by artist parents against a backdrop of Steiner education and utopian dreams, her practice encapsulates colour theory, the French-Jewish diaspora and the Book of Changes. What she makes is rooted in personal experience and offers a provocation for the viewer to feel their feelings while the emotional power of the maternal line takes centre stage.

She holds an MA in Photographic Studies from the University of Westminster (2010) and trained at drama school in London in the 1990s.  This laid the groundwork for her ongoing investigation of how art and audience collide.

The artist book of Conversations with my mother is held in collections at Tate Britain, the V&A, London and The Museum of Fine Art, HoustonYale Centre for British Art and Bristol Museum and Art Gallery also hold works from this series. Her companion piece, Role Play (Woman with Cushion) is included in Acts of Creation: On Art and Motherhood – a Hayward Touring exhibition which tours the UK through 2024-2025.

She is a Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust scholar, training at the Royal School of Needlework in historical hand embroidery, which she incorporates into her photographic work. This is now embedded in her long-term multi-faceted project A Fencing Manual for Women, which has also been supported in it’s development by a DYCP grant from the Arts Council of England, The Oppenheim-John Downes Memorial Trust, Hosking Houses Trust, Gane Trust and GRAIN as well as private sponsors.

Jessa became an RWA Academician in 2023.

She works from her studio in Bristol, UK.

Portrait © Kirsty Mackay