Contemporary jeweller Jess Dare completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts specialising in Jewellery at the Adelaide Centre for the Arts TAFEsa in 2006.
Practicing Flameworking for over 10 years having been taught by local and international glass artists, glass now forms an integral part of her practice.
Dare joined Gray Street Workshop (Est.1985) as an access tenant in 2007 and in 2010 became a partner of the workshop, joining Catherine Truman and Sue Lorraine in continuing its legacy and shaping its future.
Dare exhibits nationally and internationally and is represented in major national collections including The National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of South Australia and the National Glass Collection.
In 2016/17 she worked closely with Professor Richard Johnson creating a permanent memorial in Martin Place, Sydney, symbolising the sea of flowers laid by thousands of people following the December 2014 Martin Place siege.
In 2015 Dare undertook a residency in Shanghai, China at YiWei Art Foundation’s 3W Studio supported by Guildhouse, teaching workshops and researching Chinese culture.
In 2014 Dare undertook an Asialink Residency in Bangkok Thailand researching traditional floral garlands (Phuang Malai).
I am a contemporary jeweller and partner of Gray Street Workshop (est.1985). I work predominately in glass using lampworking techniques and non precious metal. My exhibition work is influenced by nature, botanical specimens and memory. I use nature as a metaphor to investigate concepts of the fragility and transience of memory. To me flowers are a constant reminder that life is ephemeral, ever changing, momentary and precious.
As a jeweller I have always been drawn to the miniature, it’s how I view the world, in small minute details. For me, this intimate scale draws people into my sense of wonder, whilst the gigantic thrusts a world upon the viewer. I also use this scale to accentuate the sense of intrigue and awe that I get from the natural world.
My work draws parallels between the different ways that throughout history people have attempted to preserve flowers by means of illustration, photography, flower pressing, specimen collection and botanical models. Another powerful influence has been the extraordinary works of Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka- particularly the highly realistic collection of glass plant models created by for Harvard University between 1887 to 1936.
My Current work is in response to an Asialink Residency undertaken in 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand, researching traditional and contemporary Phuang Malai (Floral garlands). This ephemeral craft employs different patterns and flowers for different meanings and occasions and is used to honour “seen and unseen beings” alike, echoing the themes of memory and honouring past loved ones that is core to my exhibition work.