About The artist
Jess Forster is an emerging sustainable Textile Artist, Designer + Educator from the Riverina area in New South Wales, Australia. She creates handmade felt objects + artworks using locally sourced wool fibres. Her practice reimagines an ancient craft with a contemporary vision that hopes to connect people, place and planet.
PEOPLE + PLACE + PLANET
Jess wholeheartedly believes in the notion of 'paying it forward'. Her recent projects, exhibitions, artworks and experiences are centred on sustainability. Each felted object manifests a social, cultural and environmental consciousness. The underlying “from farm to studio” mantra is unmistakable.
As well an affinity with the land, her creative ethos extends into the values of community and social impact. Jess feels that using wool has become a 'connector': a connector to her local community, to the nomadic history of humans, traditional rural crafts and to how society values the 'handmade'.
The socially conscious side of her practice was further encouraged through employment with the internationally renowned Dutch felt mural artist, Claudy Jongstra. Jess worked at her studios in Spannum, The Netherlands, during 2016 as a Studio Assistant, Public Programs Coordinator and assisted in artwork restoration at the Barnes Institute, Philadelphia, United States.
Earlier in 2017, Jess received the prestigious Create NSW Youth Regional Artist Scholarship. This has allowed Jess to continue to build her body of work, experiment with the material possibilities of wool felt, exhibit her works around Australia and to experience a range of professional development opportunities. Her current practice balances on the boundary between sculpture and functional object. Each piece is organically moulded, inspired by her natural surrounds of the Australian bush.