Biography

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Originally from Berlin, De Wahls, known as the ‘Enfant Terrible of British textile arts’ tackles subjects as wide ranging as Misogyny, Objectification and Fetishism in her prolific output.

Jess creates incredibly intricate Embroideries as well as hand-sewn relief portraits from up cycled clothing, a technique for which she has coined the term ‘Retex-Sculpture’.

Encouraging social change and gender equality, exploring Feminism and embracing recycling and reuse are paramount to her practice.

Her extensive body of work has been exhibited internationally, featured online as well as in print and is rapidly gaining appreciation within and outside the Textile Art scene. In addition to her own practice, Jess also acts as mentor to the finalists of the prestigious Hand & Lock London embroidery price.

She also frequently teaches embroidery workshops at the Soho Theatre as well as at Laura Lea Design.

De Wahls has successfully organised and curated 3 Solo exhibitions of her own work, including :

  • painted portraits (Soho Theatre in 2009)
  • textile art show ‘Monsters &ink’ (Resistance Gallery 2011)
  • entirely crowd-funded central London exhibition ‘Big Swinging Ovaries’ (Pop-up space just off Trafalgar square, 2014).

In 2016 she crowdfunded and  curated a gallery exhibition called ‘Stopjectify’. The show invites the audience to reconsider the status quo and question how we can break the age-old cycles that perpetuate objectification as a ‘normal’ fixture of everyday life.

In conjunction with Art Society Soho, De Wahls also curated HM90 at the Black & White Building , Shoreditch.

De Wahls currently mentors one of the finalists of the 2016 Hand & Lock embroidery price.

She regularly participates in national and international group exhibitions to introduce her work to new audiences and promote Textile Art as part of the contemporary art scene, swiftly moving away from the ‘craft-label’ often attached to works made of thread.

Recent group show involvements include:

  • ‘the Museum of Everything’ (Turbine hall of Tate Modern)
  • ‘Sweet’art’s’ shows #1 (Crypt Gallery),#SEAMS (Hoxton Arches), #GUILTY PLEASURES (Juno, London)and #YNOT (Espacio Gallery) 2013 2015
  • ‘Art in Mind’ (Brick Lane Gallery)
  • ‘Bad behaviour’(Brixton East)
  • Hand & Lock (royal embroiderers, central London) for 5 month 2015
  • ‘Salon des refuses’ (Space, Hackney)
  • ‘Summer Salon’ (CandidArts, Angel)
  • ‘Exhibit Here’ (Menier Gallery)
  • ‘Feminist Fiber art’ (Boston, USA)
  • ‘PTNOTR’ (Seattle, USA)
  • ‘USGDR’(Paris)
  • ART car-boot fair ’15
  • Stitch Fetish 4 (Hive Gallery, LA)
  • Stopjectify ( Gallery Different )
  • HM90 ( Black & White Buildings)
  • Lust for Life~ Frida Kahlo ( Menier Gallery )
  • My sex, Myself ( Hornsey Townhall Arts Centre)
  • Her work has been featured over the past 3 years in: Time Out Creative Review Huffington Post The Textile Artist Bored Panda Beautiful Decay Boston Globe Don’t Panic Le Cool Rarely wears Lipstick CopeyeJoe Blogs