Jessica Mitchell - drawing and needlework

I am a Brooklyn-born, London-based artist specialising in drawing and needlework. My art is informed by my interest in issues of identity and internal worlds and by my work as a psychotherapist.

I have a particular focus on working collaboratively and have been engaged in a long term mixed media collaboration entitled 'SOUR' with the artist Diogo Duarte.

It is my own need to get my feelings out that has driven me to make art. I want to set down on paper and fabric how I see the world and how I feel inside my head. As a therapist, I work with words that are spilled out of bodies so that they can then be considered for their meaning. I love stories but sometimes words are not enough to do stories justice. 

For most of my life my art has been done in secret, even essentially in secret from myself. Even as I filled notebook after notebook with drawings and laboured for years over handsewn tapestries it never occurred to me that I was making ‘art’. I was just doodling or messing about with recording my dreams or faddling about passing time.

I hated art at school in Brooklyn where I grew up. My efforts were totally dismissed by teachers as I had no natural skill for life-like reproduction. Art certainly wasn’t particularly encouraged by my family as it was clear that it wasn’t a sure fire way to earn a living. Nonetheless, I persisted, making up my own, ‘uninformed’, perhaps ‘ignorant’ way of drawing and sewing, but without ever thinking I would share what I was doing with anyone.

I have come out now. That is how I think of it. Making work is not just about communicating with myself but with others. I find the world a crazy place. It is full of moral conundrums and crises. I struggle to find meaning and to believe in love. I see demons but I am an atheist. I can’t stand people but can’t live without them. I find myself disgusting and also unbearably wonderful. That is what my work is about. I make what I can, with the skills and tools I have, and I just try to keep on taking risks and being as honest as I can about how I feel. 

 

Exhibitions 

2021

2021

The Free Thinking Zone, Athens

2021

2021

2020

2020

2020

'And What? Queer Arts Festival',  t-Shirt commission,  Everpress

2019

'Not Safe For Work', Cupola Contemporary Gallery, Sheffield

2019

'Royal Birmingham Society of Artists Photographic Prize', RBSA Gallery, Birmingham

2019

'Bienal de Fotografia de Vila Franca de Xira', Museu da Patriarcal, Vila Franca de Xira

2018

'Present, Perfect, Continuous', Zverev Contemporary Art Centre, Moscow

2018

'RMG Exposed', Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Ontario

2018

'FLUX Exhibition', Chelsea College of Art, London

 

Press

2020

'In Conversation with Diogo Duarte' (video interview), Fine Art Lecture Series by Samuel Zealey and Susie Olcsak

 

Contact Me

+44 (0) 7975 544 914

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