We are delighted to welcome our new Artist-in-Residence, Jessica Doherty, to Downside.

After completing her Art Foundation diploma at Central St Martins, Jessica graduated in Fine Art from Falmouth University. After university, she started her art practice and soon started accepting commissions and exhibiting in shows. She particularly enjoys a focus on realism, a sense of place and the landscape around her. Painting light, atmosphere and perspective in great detail, she endeavours to create a sensual illusion of space. She draws particular inspiration from classic artists who capture ethereal light and a dramatic atmosphere through paint, such as J.M.W. Turner, George Clausen and some contemporary artists like Ruth Watkinson.

As Jessica’s art practice went from strength-to-strength, she decided to complement it with a deeper understanding of the commercial art world. She worked in a number of art-related roles including freelance photography, tutor of fine art technical drawing and a set production designer at Hurtwood School in Surrey, and at the pioneering Hauser & Wirth gallery in Somerset.

In early 2021 Jessica decided to look for a residency. Having previously worked with young people in a school environment, a proactive residency in an education seemed the obvious choice. Downside was already on Jessica’s radar, and she was delighted when an opening for a new Artist-in-Residence became available.

Jessica is keen to encourage our young artists to push their own creative boundaries, and is very excited about exploring the beautiful landscape around Downside, pushing the boundaries of her own work and exploring more techniques such as print making. 

‘It can be thought that realism is the most abstract form of portrayal. Through painting light, atmosphere and perspective in great accuracy and detail, I endeavour to create a sensual illusion of place. 

Painting the landscape is a way of connecting and appreciating the natural environment, where the visual recreation of locations that are sentimental to me. It is an emotional experience for me as well as for the viewer. I believe that my paintings become emotional spaces for the viewer to occupy and interpret.’ Jessica Doherty, Fine Artist

Click here to see more of Jessica’s work, and to enquire about commissions.

Calling all keen artists! Deadline to apply for the 13+ Art Scholarship is Monday 3rd January 2022. Click here for more information.