Jess Miller is interested in the body and its language. For the last ten years, Jess’ main focus in making art is a fascination with the human figure. She believes that we express our unique, personal narratives through body language. In her artwork she tries to connect the sitter with the viewer through the captured energy of mark-making.
“Creating figure and portrait pieces – especially when sculpting – is really about chasing the shadows and profiles of the sitter. I don’t think about making a ‘successful’ piece, in fact I try not to think at all. Instead, focusing intensely on looking at the sitter, I let the work make itself as I try to capture what I am seeing.”
Mostly working from life, in sculpting she uses clay (or occasionally soft wax) to record the human form. Once she has completed modelling the sculpture she usually patinates the surfaces with oil paint and soft wax. Although she will often draw and sculpt the same sitter, she doesn’t generally make preparatory drawings for a piece, although sometimes she makes quick sketches in clay to work out sculpture ideas.
For the last few years she has exhibited annually as part of the Crouch End Open Studios Art Trail and was an active member of the North London Artists Network until it closed at the end of 2015. For the last three years has had work accepted in to the New English Art Club Annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries. Otherwise she mostly shows her work in private house exhibitions or mixed group shows in various galleries.
She completed an honours degree in art and design at Liverpool University in 1991, and a masters degree in electronic art at Middlesex University in 2001. Since then she has continued making and learning about art, notably studying sculpture under Suzie Zamit and Patricia Barker, drawing and painting under Michael Kirkbride. She currently splits her time between making & teaching art, working as an art director/graphic designer and doing administration & publicity for the New English Art Club.
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