Jessica Albarn (b.1971) is known for her beautifully detailed fine line drawings that feature insects and geometrical forms across paper, glass and wax. Her exquisite work focuses on ecology and the renewal of life, celebrating the small and endangered. At the heart of her practice is the idea of the meadow; how it is symbolic to us as a place of peace and serenity, and where life is played out in all its beauty and brutality.
Geometric shapes are repeated throughout her work. Albarn states that she is “interested in alchemic geometry and it’s symbolic of that.” A honeycomb is of course a mass of hexagonal wax cells built by bees in their nests. The interconnected geometric shapes in Albarn’s work also represent how in life we are all connected.
Albarn has exhibited extensively and has published two books that include her work, ‘Bee-headed’ and ‘The Boy in the Oak’. The latter has been made into a short film. Collaborations include Helmut Lang NYC for their ‘Spiderling’ collection and more recently she made her first stop motion film ‘Creation’, collaborating with Nick Powell and Sarah Willson of the band Oskar.
Devoted to the bee, Albarn has worked alongside the BBCT (Bumblebee Conservation Trust) to raise awareness for the plight of the bee through her work for many years. She is currently developing a physical meadow in Devon to support the bees and local wildlife of the area as well as create a space to explore ideas and gather research. The meadow is a conservation art project designed to encourage two rare types of bee, the Blaeberry bumblebee and the Shrill Carder bee.
“I’ve long drawn inspiration from nature, particularly bees, and the meadow is my way of giving something back. I wanted to do the very best to encourage wildlife and support the ecosystem. Now in its second year, the meadow is still in development but ‘Creation’ tells the story so far. My work is an archive of the land in art form.” Jessica Albarn