Jessica Ballantyne is a contemporary artist. Born in South Africa Jessica graduated with a BA in Fine art from the University of Pretoria before moving to the UK in 2009 to expand her promising career as a professional artist. Her works have since been exhibited internationally from South Africa to London and Hungary.
Jessica blends classical techniques such as oil painting and graphite drawing with experimental contemporary elements such as spray paint, diamond dust and collage. Precise and finely detailed, her works are often created over hundreds of hours.
Conceptually Jessica’s work attacks the objectification of the female body in the media and reclaims the classical beauty of the female nude as art.
Jessica was fascinated from an early age by the portrayal of subjective feeling and experience, especially in regards to the body. As such her work is almost always figurative with a focus on the female body and transcendent experience.
“As a culture we have become accustomed to looking at the female body in a particular way- that of the sexual object. I try to show a subjectivity, a presence, beneath the skin”
Influenced by Surrealism and photography, Jessica creates bodies that are naked, unusual and autonomous. She combines her experience with philosophical, psychological and academic ideas about subjectivity and sexuality, with spiritual concepts such as mindfulness, meditation and self-observation.
“As humans we have been bombarded with imagery of women and that many of these images teach us to constantly view ourselves from the outside, as bodies and objects without subjectivity and presence.”
Her work rebels against this limiting portrayal of women by inviting the viewer into a private, psychological space where she manipulates the physical body to speak about presence, transcending the ego and letting go of attachments to the body and mind.