Born in a small farming town in southern Australia, Jessica Watson-Thorp spent her childhood surrounded by a monochromatic palette of a wide blue sky to the horizon and pale yellow fields of grain. Her grandmother, who was an artist, taught her how to observe the world around her as well as how to work with oil paint and watercolours from the age of five.
Watson-Thorp received her education in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and moved to the Middle East in 2003 spending 15 years living across Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai. She continues to be inspired by her time in the Middle East and describes the Gulf region as deeply compelling and beautiful.
Her work is evocative and ranges from colourful acrylics, which tackle themes of womanhood, regeneration and birth, often inspired by her own experiences as a mother, to more delicate ink on paper. These pieces access a spiritual dimension and are inspired by the natural and man-made environment around her. Watson-Thorp puts emphasis on tactile and textured brushstrokes to convey the rhythms of life and attempts to transport her audiences to a place within their own experience.
For Watson-Thorp, painting and making art is a burning desire, a passion and something she says she was “put on this earth to do”. She also believes that art can unite others and encourage empathy. “If we can fill the world with art, with creativity, beauty and thought-provoking content, all the time encouraging lateral thought, then the world will be a brighter place.”