Jess Forster Blog about sustainable textiles, felt, art, design.

Jess Forster Blog about sustainable textiles, felt, art, design.


The Latest

Solo Exhibition - R E S E R V O I R - X Gallery



‘ R E S E R V O I R ‘


Saturday 13th April, 3pm - 5pm

Show is open from 13th April until 10th June


Gallery open Friday to Monday, 11am - 5pm or by appointment

phone: 62380550 email:

RESERVOIR is a series of artworks exploring the impact of the drought on rural Australia.

Waterways are diminishing and native habitats are slowly being destroyed. An air of panic enters our human conscience. This anxiety is contagious.

 As climate change is securing its grip on agriculture, farmers are watching their stock go hungry and their crops turn to dust. Parts of our Government risk food production in favour of mining companies extracting gas or groundwater. Major water sources are being reaped and mis-managed such as the Murray-Darling system. Lakes are contaminated. Fish, birds, and indigenous plant species are disappearing. Whole communities suffer, people suffer. The big dry does not discriminate. 

 Yet, with anxiety and fear, comes resilience. An undeniable strength in character. This source of optimism is explored through RESERVOIR.

Harsh environments are portrayed through white-bleached felt landscapes and billabongs coagulating into dark-mud hearts. The starkness is contrasted with a powerful sense of nurturing. Organic three-dimensional elements protrude from large tapestries and enclose the viewer in a soft embrace. Small sculptures suggest growth as felt limbs emerge from the dust. This series of works is as much about the drought, as it is about questioning our human condition. 

Jessica Forster
Solo Exhibition: Kindred of the Dust - Timeless Textiles Newcastle

K I N D R E D  O F  T H E  D U S T 

A solo exhibition of felt artworks that explore home + place

T I M E L E S S   T E X T I L E S   G A L L E R Y

90 Hunter Street Newcastle, NSW

14th June - 8th July 2018

(See the full catalogue of works for sale on the Timeless Textiles web-shop:

Topographic Organ II - Merino, Corriedale, Crushed Earth Pigments

Topographic Organ II - Merino, Corriedale, Crushed Earth Pigments


(Via Timeless Textiles Gallery,

Art from the earth featured at new fibre art exhibition.

Emerging textile artist Jess Forster uses natural materials from her Riverina home’s environment to create the evocativeKindred of the Dust exhibition, opening at Newcastle’s Timeless Textiles in June.

Forster’s sculptured felt artworks feature locally collected fibres, native seeds and earth pigments. Her work is an experimental inquiry into the emotionally constructed relationship between humans and the natural environments that surround us. The Kindred of the Dust collection questions our connections to place.

The works are embedded and dyed into powerful topographic landscapes, hollowed felt totems, and three-dimensional limbs. Some pieces have been left outside at various locations that are meaningful to Forster. This has allowed natural weathering, colouring and the germination of seeds. The forms have become a conceptual mapping-tool. They are physical representations of Forster’s land and location. They also seek to capture her emotional connection to place and ‘home’.

“I feel a deep affinity with the bush, waterways and land formations that surround where I live, and where I grew up,” Forster said. “My current work explores the contrast between our ‘nesting’ and ‘nomadic’ instincts. That is, the magnetising pull of place and home versus an overwhelming curiosity to journey.”

Forster’s works are observations of the cyclical, miniscule natural processes in our world. She observes a tiny seedling poking through the earth, ant highways, dripping sap, opening seed-pods, bark of ancient gums and the organic patterns of silt drying on the edges of billabongs.

“I like to imagine these tiny happenings out of their context, under a microscope, from the air, or as if I was nestled inside,” Forster said.

Forster graduated from a Bachelor Design/Art Education from UNSW in 2015. She worked as a Textile and Visual Arts teacher before working in the Netherlands in 2016 for textile artist Claudy Jongstra. She received a Create NSW Young Regional Artist Scholarship to help develop her practice and has been a part of numerous exhibitions. These include ‘Push the Medium’ at the Narrandera Arts Centre, and three solo exhibitions in Wagga Wagga, Tumbarumba and Orange.

The exhibition runs from 13 June to 8 July with the opening on 14 June.

You can see the full catalogue of works for sale on the Timeless Textiles web-shop:

Jessica Forster
Feature Artist: Creators Nest


Creators Nest, Yass NSW

During the months of May, June and July, Jess will be displayed as the 'Feature Artist' at a new creative collective space - Creators Nest. Located in a beautiful period hall overlooking the main street, the Creators Nest is a retail, workshop and co-working space designed to incubate creative passions of local entrepreneurs. 

Pop in and see this unique space and artwork.

Creators Nest, 67 Comur Street, Yass NSW

Jessica Forster

D U S T  &  G U M S 

An exhibition of unique felt artwork, objects + sculptures inspired by native bushland, local landmarks + waterways.

See the Corner Store Gallery website or use the contact page for a full catalogue of artworks available for purchase. 

Jessica Forster
'Nesting' - Solo Exhibition, Tumbarumba

Jess Forster's solo show 'Nesting' opened on Friday 23rd February at Tumbarumba Artists on Parade Gallery. The collection of felt artworks, sculptures and objects are an exploration of local waterways, topography and bushland. Each sculptural element is hand felted, singular construction of felt - made with local raw and hand-dyed wool.The show is on from 23rd February to 18th March. 

For further information on the exhibition, please contact Jess via contact form. For information about artwork prices and availability please contact the Gallery - Tumbarumba Artists on Parade on (02) 6948 3600. 

Saplings - 40cm x 50cm

Saplings - 40cm x 50cm

Cycle III - 40cm x 40cm

Cycle III - 40cm x 40cm

The Abyss - 75cm x 45cm

The Abyss - 75cm x 45cm

Billabong I, Billabong II - 1m x 2.5m

Billabong I, Billabong II - 1m x 2.5m

Ochre Gorge 21cm x 30 cm

Ochre Gorge 21cm x 30 cm

Into (Spiral) - 1.5m x 7.5m

Into (Spiral) - 1.5m x 7.5m

'Parasites' (Connectors) - As part of Installation

'Parasites' (Connectors) - As part of Installation

The Window Gallery - Eastern Riverina Arts, Wagga Wagga

For the month of February, I have been chosen as the featured artist for The Window Gallery, at the Eastern Riverina Arts Office in Wagga Wagga. The diptych 'Watering Holes I and Watering Holes II' are 2 x 1.5 metre wall pieces made from a combination of felted cross-bred wool, merino and mohair. The artworks are an exploration of the local landscape - one that has been shaped and moulded over thousands of years by the changing waterways of the Murrumbidgee river. 

watering holes view.jpg

Push the Medium
push the medium postcard.jpg

Push the Medium is an exhibition of contemporary regional artists from multiple disciplines who are in a deep exploration of their practice. 

The Exhibition opens on Sunday 4th February at the Narrandera Arts Centre at 2pm. The Exhibition will feature a performance piece by artist Alan Schacer.

'Parasites', felted cross-bred, merino wool, various sizes. February 2018 - 'Push the Medium'

'Parasites', felted cross-bred, merino wool, various sizes. February 2018 - 'Push the Medium'

'Parasites', size ranging from 15cm - 115cm. 

'Parasites', size ranging from 15cm - 115cm. 

Part of the 'Parasites' Installation, featured at 'Push the Medium' Exhibition in Narrandera, February 2018 

Part of the 'Parasites' Installation, featured at 'Push the Medium' Exhibition in Narrandera, February 2018 

Jessica Forster
Land. Home. Country. - Griffith Regional Gallery NSW

Land. Home. Country. is Griffith Regional Art Gallery’s community art exhibition and arts and crafts forum for 2017. It is on from 19th October - 19th November. 

The exhibition is grounded in the notion that an understanding of place and the environments an individual inhabits are essential parts of the creative practices of artists and crafts people. Artworks imbued with an understanding of place can convey meaning other creative mediums cannot and can provide the viewer with a transcendent experience. 

In Australian Art, artists from the Heidelberg School, Antipodeans, Annandale imitation Realists and even Brett Whiteley all had an understanding of Land. Home. Country.  

I was absolutely honoured to be a part of Land. Home. Country. in a place that was once my home. I was also so very grateful for friends for visiting the exhibition. 


Parasites September 2017 - Merino Wool, Cross Bred Wool (undyed)

The pod-like installation is called 'Parasites' and explores the notion that our relationship with our land, our planet is not symbiotic, but parasitic. Each pod, ranging from 15cm to 100cm, is hand felted locally sourced merino, cross bred and corriedale wool. The use of wool itself, explores the idea of an 'introduced' species and its impact on the environment. They are seemingly organic, natural objects - yet have the unearthly presence of alien dogma. 

The second artwork in the exhibition is 'The Hills' - a wall-hanging landscape with layers of horizontal wool. It is both a tactile and visual exploration of the local environment. I am constantly inspired when I drive along the Hume Highway. The different layers of wool are like the undulations of the hills as I drive along, in the direction of home and red dust. 

Small Holdings - Timeless Textiles Gallery, Newcastle NSW

Small Holdings is a fibre art exhibition hosted and curated by Timeless Textiles Gallery, Newcastle, New South Wales. With a curated collection of pieces from Local, National and International artists, the exhibition conceptually explores the idea of vessels. Jess had two pieces included in the exhibition by curator, Anne Kempton. Both of Jess' pieces conceptually explore natural curiosities including the phases of the moon and the Australian landscape. 

SMALL HOLDINGS 8/06/2017 - 12/07/2017

Jessica Forster   PHASES II -  June 2017   - Merino and Cross Bred Wool, Wet felted using a resist process. 

Jessica Forster  PHASES II - June 2017 - Merino and Cross Bred Wool, Wet felted using a resist process. 

"I have always been curious about the cycles of world. The day into night, a seed into plant, an embryo into a human being. Phases II is a sculpted from a singular construction of wool felt, moulded by hand. The inside layers are naturally dark merino wool, while the outer become lighter. We are given insight through portals into the form. Although the outside layer is what dictates the shape, be aware of the play of light, and how it forms its own elliptical crescent shadows. It is a conceptual exploration of material and form that reflects my recent fascination and experience of the properties of the moon. From impacting the elements, influencing the ocean tides, the growing of plants to our own states of mind. Yet it is a constant in our world, a definite."  
Jessica Forster -  SATELLITES  June 2017 - Merino wool, cross bred wool, corriedale, mohair, wet-resist felted

Jessica Forster - SATELLITES June 2017 - Merino wool, cross bred wool, corriedale, mohair, wet-resist felted

I feel I am a human satellite: a constantly orbiting nomad, circling home. My materials and motifs are intuitively born into felted life, dictated by wandering hands and thoughts. Satellites tells a narrative about an intrinsic connection to land and place. Constructed with a singular formation of wool felt, undulations along the piece form a landscape of pods and connectors. The protruding organic shapes are like cocoons or seeds at various stages of blooming. They are the places I’ve nestled and made my home. The felted rope mimics my regular in a state of transit. As I get older, travel further, explore more; I feel as though my relationship with home and the land deepens. As does my connection to natural materials and fibres – a relationship I’m beginning to nurture.
Jessica Forster