‘Healing’, ‘tranquil’ and ‘joyous’ are words commonly used around Jessica’s work. Even when there are storms in evidence, metaphors for the turbulence of life, there is optimism too – light on the edge of a cloud or a shaft of sunshine breaking through the darkness. Subliminally, they are all about moving to a state of lightness or place of hope. The emotion she puts into her paintings is often equalled by the emotion they elicit in other people, as her visitors’ book testifies.
Jessica Zoob trained at Central School of Art and Nottingham University, during which time she travelled extensively, spending time on research in China and exploring other parts of Indonesia. For seven years, she worked as a theatre designer at countless venues including the Bristol Old Vic, the Royal National Theatre and Greenwich Theatre. Since 2000, Jessica has worked exclusively as a British contemporary artist, now dividing her time between rural Sussex and her second home in Hong Kong.
Jessica is fascinated by texture, distressed surfaces and graffiti on walls – the history these reveal. In her own work, she first she builds up layers and layers of oils which are then partly obliterated by continuous rubbing back, scraping or cutting into the surface. This ‘architectural’ process treads a fine line between her being in full control of the materials and allowing the unexpected to happen. The yang side to her more usually yin approach is when she uses pure pigments of colour to produce canvases bursting with excitement and energy.
She exhibits regularly in Sussex and London, and her work is in private collections worldwide. Site-specific commissions include works for the entrances of The Lancasters at Hyde Park, a palace in Dubai and Richard Rogers’ NEO Bankside development. She has also had solo shows in Cape Town and in Hong Kong.