Jess Heywood Exhibition: “The Heartless Hurt Less”


Artist Jessica Heywood currently has her work on show in our exhibition space:

“The Heartless Hurtless”.  It shows until Saturday 13th April 2019.

We caught up with her and asked her a few questions about what to expect.

What can people expect from the exhibition?
The idea behind the work is to explore our responses to lifeless bodies, demystifying anatomical structures and considering the role of rot and decay in the natural world.

What are your main themes in your art?
My practice revolves around ideas of labour intensity, craft and repetition. I employ quite rigid structures with which to work in, and part of the engagement with this is working out where the rules can bend/break. I’m very led by systems, series and patterns; I don’t like even numbers so things tend to be one offs or in triptychs if they’re not full series.

Who influences you? so favourite artists, role models etc?
Both Nick Caves. Tove Jansson. Joni Mitchell. Christopher Wool. Bas Kosters. Olaf Breuning. Theo Mercier. Jesse Darling. Michael Kelley. Magda Boreysza. Dorothea Tanning. Tin Can Forest. Shirley Jackson. Jean Rhys… and 10000000 other people and things.

Five hash tags to describe your work?
#labourintensive #detailed #repetitive #time and #fuelledbyendlesscupsoftea

I don’t know if you’re from Sheffield ( or live here) but if so, I often ask people about what they think of Sheffield as a creative city and how it influences what they do?
I love Sheffield. I think we’re ridiculously lucky here in that it’s a full, proper, thriving city but we’re so close to nature practically everywhere in the city. There are so many parks and walks and trees so you get the best of everything. There’s a lot of really exciting things happening in Sheffield and it’s so fantastic to have a lot of accessible and affordable spaces for artists.

What would the younger you (artist) say about the work you’re making now?
I think I’d find my current work quite boring and be a bit disappointed in myself, to be honest. I’d see it as very tame and upsettingly ‘traditional’. My image of my future self as a young teenager was very passionately led by misconceptions of wild passions of artists, who flung paint around and lived in Parisian garrets… I didn’t realise how much of it was chasing up invoices and sitting around in your studio feeling lonely/bored/apathetic or giving yourself repetitive strain injury doing an enormous drawing that you then decide you hate and throw away…

And the best advice you’ve been given about making art / creativity?  and why?
That you have to work through creative blocks, you can’t just sit around and wait for inspiration to strike. Also that coming up with our concept first and sticking to it really rigidly isn’t ever a great idea, you have to let the media lead you a bit and not be too unyielding. And that not all art has to be serious or deep or meaningful, you can do it because you want to or because it’s fun.

And what plans lie ahead in relation to the art?
The most important thing to me at the minute is that I have a bit more fun with art – I want to mess around a bit more, but I feel a real sense of pressure since leaving university to do something ‘worthy’ or ‘earnest’ with my time. I’m teaching workshops and have some gallery work which is great, so I’m looking to get a bit more involved with that and spend a bit less time by myself. I’d really like to take a taxidermy course and to teach myself how to spin yarn properly.