Jessica Ledwich is a photographic artist currently based in Australia. In her practice, she explores our attitudes towards body image, sexuality, and desire. Using her own body, her work becomes a performative exploration of the relationship between desire and repulsion. As a former fashion photographer Ledwich incorporates the aesthetics of colour advertising imagery to create luscious, saturated, and visceral images that are designed to provoke a dialogue. She regularly exhibits in Australia and has exhibited internationally in Hong Kong, Slovenia, and the UK. Her series Monstrous Feminine was featured in Musée Magazine’s WOMEN issue and the political magazine The Point, and her 2019 solo show Our Desires Are Not Our Own was selected by Art Guide Australia as one of the Top 5 Exhibitions to see in Australia. She is a recipient of both an Australia Arts Council Artstart award as well as a Cultural Career Fund award.
Messy Beautiful explores and gives voice to the more unconscious parts of Ledwich’s psyche. It looks to embrace the aspects of her nature that, at times, have caused feelings of great shame. This work was created through the pandemic lockdown of 2020/21 as the extended periods of time alone finally gave her the space to process these aspects of herself. Ledwich’s experience is not unique – these “inappropriate” parts of her (immoral urges, irrational fears, sexual desires, and shameful experiences) all form “shadow” parts and are shared by many women. These images seek to create a space where desire and taboo can play and revel in the beauty and messiness of the human experience.