Jessica is a sculptor and performance artist who lives off-grid. She recently finished studying for an MFA at University of Leeds and graduated with a distinction. She is presently in residence as ‘Creative Caretaker’ at Wild Rumpus in Cheshire.
Alongside her solo practice she has worked for the last ten years as a freelancer producer, theatre deviser and artistic director of outdoor arts. She runs her own company Rost Productions ltd, which is a collaboration of makers, technicians and performers who create outdoor installation and street theatre, which tours across the UK.
She co-founded Festive Road in 2005 -an MK based community interest company – for which she developed, raised funding and project managed the creative direction of, for many years (2008-2018). Here she was delivering artist training programmes, outreach projects, making and producing street theatre work, outdoor shows, public art commissions, workshops and many celebratory events.
Selected solo Performances:
2020 Becoming Batty performed at The Tetley, Leeds, and Common Ground, Blackburn
2017 Safe 2 hour live-streamed performance, (welding herself into a cage) at MK Gallery
2014 Bat Squeaks part of X-Centric scratch programme and other private events
2011 As it is in Life, as it is in Death, as it is in Art at various private gatherings
2010 Darwinias Random Selection Scratch performance at The Fishmarket in Northampton
2008 Gasping Goldie ‘Artwash’, laundrette, Oxford & OU, Milton Keynes
2006 Road to a Plastic Democracy (British Council Fellowship), Goethe Institute, Dhaka, Bangladesh
2005 Arachne Revealed Braziers International Workshop, Braziers Park, Oxfordshire
Solo exhibitions of Sculpture:
2015 Compulsive Collectors Temporary space, old nightclub in Milton Keynes
2009 Not in My Name Kaunas Gallery, Lithuania
2008 Kindred Roots Kunsterein Ebersberg, Munich
2007 Plastic Democracy Goethe Institute, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Select group exhibitions of Sculpture and Installation:
2020 Pause Interim MA Show, Freehold Project Space, Leeds
2019 Undercurrent Digital & Electronic Arts group, gallery take over, NN Contemporary
2018 2nd Point of Contact with artists Emma Talbot & Claire Summerson, MK Museum
2016 After the Party Barn Gallery, Westbury Arts Centre
2009 Make it The Fishmarket, Northampton
2008 From Inside Out: Feminist Art then and now Dr M.T. Geoffrey Yeh, Art Gallery, New York
Grants & awards:
2018 MK Community Foundation, Arts Bursary
2018 Arts Council England, Developing Creative Practice Award
2011 Creative Northants Bursary
2006 Arts Council England International fellowship in Bangladesh
2005 Arts Council England research trip to Trinidad Carnival
Work in Arts Education:
Jessica has delivered numerous creative projects in schools and now focuses mainly on public and community participation work -most recently working on a public engagement project with Vodafone UK. At Festive Road, 2005-2018, she helped deliver hundreds of workshops and community led projects. Between 2008 and 2011 Jessica was working as a Creative Agent and a practitioner for UK Centre for Carnival Arts in Luton and also as a lead artist for various schools in Oxfordshire and Bedfordshire.
Partnerships, Workshops & Residencies:
2021 Wild Rumpus Creative Caretaker in Residence
2018 Blackburn Festival of Light Artist in Residency and commission for the festival
2018 Emergency Exit Arts The Inventor’s Imaginarium, Lead Artist & Commission
2018 Handmade Parade Commission & Partnership -Eva the Polar Bear puppet
2018 Walk the Plank Commission to create a mechanical Peacock puppet
2018 Manchester Day Parade Lead Artist, working with communities in South Manchester
2017 Transform Public Sculpture commission for Waste Recovery Park, MK
2016 Transform: India Residency in Ahmadabad, India, creating art with construction workers
2013 Darwinia’s Random Selection Street Theatre developed as part of Escalator Outdoor Arts
2012 Carnival Crossroads –Eastbound Lead designer for Norwich, Cultural Olympiad, UKCCA
2011 Windmill Primary School Oxford, Creative Partnership change school (1yr)
2010 Farley Hill Junior School Luton, Creative Partnership change school, Lead artist (1yr)
09-11 Northbourne Primary Oxfordshire, Creative Partnership change school, Lead artist (3 yrs)
2009 Fishmarket Project space and scratch events at the Fishmarket, Northampton (4 months)
2008 UKCCA Luton Creative partnership, Ashcroft High School (2yrs)
Producing, Curating & Artistic Directing:
2019 Devising and directing ‘Pockets of Resistance’ performed at MK Gallery , Bedlam Fair and Green Gathering.
2018 Devising and directing ‘Peddlers Pack: so many things you’ve never seen before’, performing at Bedlam Fair, MK Festival Fringe, LakesAlive! and Winter Droving.
2018 Devising and directing ‘Steam Hammer Annual Rally & Picnic, performing at Spare Parts festivals in NW: Fleetwood, Sandbach and Crewe.
2017 Directing and producing touring walkabout show ‘The Futurists’
2015 Directing ‘Best Company’ touring show, part of WW1 commemorations Jun-Sept 2015
2013 Directed an outdoor show ‘Fair Play’ which toured across SE England in 2013
2012-2017 Milton Keynes Festival Fringe –direct and produce a multimedia arts festival
2011 -2012 Curated public exhibition spaces in Central Milton Keynes for Fringemk:Westbury
2009-2012 ‘Brewing Up’, a visual and musical arts experiment, London 2012 Inspire Mark project
Education and training:
MA Fine Art, Pass with distinction, 2019-21, (graduation extended due to Covid-19)
B.A Hons. Fine Art, 2:1, 1988-91, Birmingham Polytechnic
GNVQ Basic Engineering, 1992-93, Decorum College, Hemel Hempstead
Jessica has had training and is skilled in the following:
Animation, Metal work and welding, Carving, casting and modelling, Public Art, Bookbinding, Liquid Light Photography, Film Making, Basket weaving, Costume making, Video Performance, Large-scale lantern structures, Stilt walking, Street Theatre, Dramaturge, Puppet making & puppetry.
View on line: Website: www.jessicarost.co.uk