Jessica Rost began creating performance art as a way to challenge herself
I actually don’t like being the centre of attention! Somehow it all seems to be okay when I’m in a costume or when I have a purpose to communicate to a live audience.
She has been creating performance art for several years now and has also produced many short artist films which feature her unique, often quite ‘dark’, costumes.
She works in collaboration with many other performers and associates of Rost Productions.
In 2017 Jessica performed ‘Safe’ at MK Gallery as part of MK Calling; a two hour live-streamed piece, welding myself into a cage constructed out of recycled bicycle frames. Have a look at the time lapse footage here.
Often it isn’t until after a piece is performed that I can fully understand why I’ve created it. The piece ‘Safe’, was about the safe spaces we create around ourselves, the prisons we construct. However, once I had finished I realised that the piece was also about my release, the capture of a moment, or previous version of myself…
The content of my performance work is often around ideas of tolerance/intolerance, understanding and misunderstanding, bio-diversity and cohabitation. These interconnections are implied on an individual, political and universal level in the work.
Alongside this solo work, Jessica is a stilt performer; creating ‘Bat Squeaks’ in 2014, a stilt-walking piece which uses costume and poetry to explain ideas around missed communication between people.
Rost Productions also runs its own stilt performing group called the Extreme Ramblers which appears at festivals, carnivals and street events nationally.
Other solo performance work includes: ‘As it is in Life, as it is in Death, as it is in Art’, which was performed at WestburyArts Centre in Milton Keynes and ‘Darwinias Random Selection’, which was scratch performed at The Fishmarket in Northampton and selected for the Esculator Arts scheme. Her piece ‘Gasping Goldie’ toured to ArtWash laundrette in Oxford, MEANTIME Space in Cheltenham and the Open University in Milton Keynes.
Jessica’s solo performance work is international, performing ‘Road to Plastic Democracy’ at Goethe Institute in Dhaka, Bangledesh as part of a British Council Fellowship and ‘Arachne Revealed’, a video performance made at Braziers International.
She created numerous costumes for touring productions which she directed as Artistic Director of Festive Road including; Brewing Up in 2012, Fair Play in 2013, The Jurassic Jockeys in 2014, Best Company in 2015 and The Futurists in 2017. She produced and directed for one-off events like Paraffinalia -an out door winter festival in Milton Keynes.
In 2012 Jessica was also one of five national designers selected to create costumes for the Cultural Olympiad project Carnival Crossroads-Eastbound, for which she designed 100 costumes and several large structures.
You can see examples of Jessica’s performance work here.