Nikki Wilson interviews Jessica Bailey
6 Feb, 2024
Member of the Month: Jessica Bailey

Each month, Nikki Wilson interviews an Ignite Member, asking five simple questions, to find out what creativity means to them, and how they see culture and creativity, and its potential, in Chelmsford.

This month Nikki talks to Jessica Bailey.

How would you describe what you do? 

I’ve been practising art as therapy, learning to understand the world in relation to myself since 1997, I do sensitive, process-led work, responding and reacting to the complexities and paradoxes in societies, patterns, dualities, psychology and philosophy, learning through reflection and introspection.

I listen and watch and play, channel connections and reflections and I started meditation through paintings in 2005.

Painting of white flower like patters with silver glowing threads in the foreground

Through the last 20 years I  have been working and developing a style inspired by vision experiences through meditation, migraine aura, optical migraines and synaesthesia, a blending of sensory experiences where an overload of sensory stimuli can spark me out. Migraine aura I have had all my life, becoming aware when I was 7 of the small particles electrical activity which create a buzzing sound, tingling sensations and light show flashes dependent on my well-being and receptivity. This sensation can be both pleasant or painful, exciting or calming, overwhelming and draining at times. So the work I have painted is a magnification, so it is visible and tangible.

The work is considered by some as pattern, abstract, geometric, surreal but to me it’s hyper-real. The work explores the different pace, colour and visual sensations between migraine aura, optical migraine, synaesthesia and visions seen in both flashes and during meditation.

A painting - the background is dark at the bottom moving to a fluorescent orange at the top, overlaid by many bright flower or burst like shapes.

And who, or what gives you creative inspiration?

Problem solving, mental and emotional equations and relationships.  I’ve been fortunate to have some exceptional minds, experiences and people inspire me.  Artists who particularly inspire me include Leonardo Di Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh, Leonard Nelson, and the spoken word artist John Trudell.   I also see a number of Philosophers as good role models in virtue and character.

“The Virtue of Imperfect”, a self set project whilst studying at Royal College of Art (2000-2002), was a huge turning point for my personal development and artistic freedom..  I’m interested in how any one thing and fleeting moment can inspire creative growth and self-understanding, leading to self-acceptance or self- development, both important for creating balance in the psyche and well-being.  And I feel that faith in God, the great spirit, helps me create beyond my own vision.

If you could try any new creative or cultural experience or practice, what would it be?

I’d like to travel and create films or short videos of places as living memories showing hidden, spiritual dimensions, a series of otherworldly pieces, which use no Photoshop or AI.

What excites you about creativity and culture in Chelmsford?

The fact that it exists, that it’s growing and that it’s bringing communities together and how in recent years it has become more than just a commuter town, but a cultural growing place

What would you like to see in Chelmsford that isn’t here yet?

An Art Museum and art collection that’s relevant historically, for people to ground and root themselves,  It could be a place that offered current international artists showing alongside selected local artists using different themes, places, techniques and styles as well as being a social melting pot.

And also more residencies, perhaps between businesses and local artists.

A painting - a peach or orange background, overlaid by many bright flower or burst like shapes.

View Jessica’s profile here.

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