Jessica Nothdurft In Conversation
In Conversation with artisan Jessica Nothdurft
Step into the captivating world of jeweller and artist Jessica Nothdurft as we delve into her transformative multi-disciplinary artistic journey. In the lead up to her unique new exhibition 'Silly Girl' showing at artisan from February to June 2024, we discuss the diverse range of artistic mediums and personal narratives woven through her works. Nothdurft's distinctive faux-naive style captures the essence of universal human experience, and we look forward to sharing her latest collection with our artisan audience.
What mediums do you work with, and why have you chosen them?
This current body of sculptures are made of Bronze which I form from wax first and then cast them. I use wax in a similar way to clay, moulding it into the forms I want. I have also incorporated human hair and hand-sewn garments (house dress) for my sculptures to wear.
What prompted you to move from jewellery to sculptures for this exhibition?
I was a sculptor before I made jewellery. I’m a multidisciplinary artist and dabble in most disciplines.
I consider my jewellery and sculpture separate entities. My art is highly personal and more often then not autobiographical. Whereas my jewellery is something else entirely, it is light and pretty. I enjoy the contrast.
What can you tell us about your processes and concepts, how do your designs get from concept to the final stage?
My work is narrative based and tells a complex and highly personal story. My hyper-restrained line works in a faux-naïve style depict a battered housewife, pregnant dogs, cages and crouched forms.
I’m lucky to not need to plan too much, I possess an endless well of inspiration and ideas. I'm delving into my own memories and experiences, some of which are raw. I see it as a therapeutic process, a way to navigate through my thoughts and emotions.
I'm striving to create with a spirit reminiscent of childhood. Hence the naïve quality.
Have you ever had a creative block? How did you move past it?
I wouldn’t consider it a “block” as such, it was more of a psychological interference. For a time I was at war with myself, ruminating about the relevance of my work. I went back and forth for a few years dabbling in different styles of expression. I attempted to move away from what I know best and essentially it didn’t work.
I realised what I enjoy most is telling my authentic story through my work, so I went back to exploring my childhood experiences and memories through my art practice.
I also discovered once I became a mother that I needed to stop intellectualising my work and let it be what it wants to be. I think resisting definitions and just getting into the flow and out of the intellectual mind scape is imperative.
Tell us about your studio, what sort of environment do you work in and what’s your dream space?
I have recently converted my shed into my studio. I feel lucky to have this space. The studio space is approximately 3.5 meters by 4.5 meters.
My dream space would probably be much larger as I paint large paintings 2 x 1.5 meters for example and wouldn’t mind spreading out more within a space.
What is your dream residency and where would it be?
I’d hate be away from my son for too long, but if he could come with me than perhaps somewhere overseas where there is art culture and buzz. Perhaps Germany.
What keeps you creating?
I love what I do, it makes me feel good. I think if you can and if life allows it, try to do what makes you happy.