This week Wales Arts Review casts a spotlight on the Welsh and Wales-based artists on the exhibition shortlist of Llandudno’s MOSTYN Open 21 award, a carefully selected list of 30 international artists from over 750 submissions. The final spotlight of the week is on Jessie Edwards-Thomas.
Jessie Edwards-Thomas (born 1991) is a visual artist based in Britain. She originates from Snowdonia, North Wales. Her artistic practise explores the individual through gender, mental health and the individual’s placement within society. Jessie’s work focuses on the individual’s need for belonging within the constructs of society. She uses the relationship between the photographer and the sitter to investigate these ideas as part of the image. Her current practise explores key themes surrounding symbols and structure, identity, power and connection through storytelling.
“I am a visual artist, alongside working on photography commissions, I also create and facilitate art workshops in the community – mainly within mental health and substance misuse.
I was born in Bangor, and grew up in Caernarfon. I now live in Bristol, but still (and always will!) have strong connections to North Wales, my family (and lots of friends) are based up there.
I went to Colege Menai (did an Art Foundation there). I have recently graduated with a Masters of Fine Art Photography from the University of Arts, London, where I received the Sproxton Award for Photography.“
The Polymorph is an imagined creature inspired by the symbols and structures of belonging and power. However, The Polymorph is also a fragile, tangible, otherly creature composed of earthly materials. The Polymorph is trapped in an age-old story, repeating itself over and over, searching for home – a place to be ‘me’ with ‘you’.
The Polymorph was born from my unease with the representation of the individual and the connection of the individual to others in society.
Within fiction, imagination is power, crossing the borders of reality into myth. Here the individual can venture into uncharted landscapes and become truly alien.
Jessie Edwards-Thomas, The Polymorph, 2018
To find out more about MOSTYN Open 21 you can visit the gallery website here.
This week Wales Arts Review will be casting a spotlight on the other six Welsh or Wales-based artists on the competition exhibition shortlist before the end of the exhibition on October 27th. The winners are announced on October 22nd.