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Jessica Philbrick

Jessica is a feminist artist originating from New Zealand and currently residing in Berlin. Shortly after graduating from the Elam School of Fine Arts in New Zealand, Jessica was nominated as a finalist for the NZ Emerging Artist Awards for 2018 for her photographic series ‘Performing Femininity’ 2018. Jessica has received much recognition for her work from members of the University, members of the public and participants for her various socially and politically charged projects.


Jessica is a contemporary feminist artist working with photography and video to explore the current construct of femininity through appearances. While reflecting on previous feminist theories on femininity, Jessica also conducts interviews (video and audio), to gather real life insights from young women in order to contextually analyse their thoughts. Her video and photographic works aim to be informed by the interview material and re-present the content as a performance of femininity. This is done by reflecting on the participants’ contribution and translating their insights into performed acts of femininity, such as the nominated work ‘I am Georgia’, video still, 2018. In turn, these works present an insightful take on young woman’s ambivalences with their relationship to their feminist beliefs versus their identification with their personal sense of femininity.

Jessica is also a painter and film photographer. Her photographs and paintings
continue make use of a feminine colour pallet and play with a somewhat fictional representation of real stories. In a similar vain to her Performing Femininity works, her paintings offer a reflection on domestic spaces (some may say ‘feminine spaces’) which is nostalgic and poignant. These empty interiors aim to present a similar unease as her feminist videos to urge a conversation around the everyday thoughts and emotions relating to a young woman’s sense of space, appearance, femininity and feminism.

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