Jessie Lumb

Plasticine and Thumbtacks



I just stare at the floor and we tell each other stories, gold leaf on tin, at Format Adelaide. July 1-10 2015

Photography: Christopher Arblaster

Four x Four


I wish for birds to sing in sad hearts, four x four at Mint Artist Studios Adelaide, May 2015.

During a tough week in which my heart was aching I removed wishes from a tree, signifying the end of a recent project that had had positivity and hope at its core. As I read them one by one I began to notice a common thread in what people had written – everyone it seemed wanted peace, either on a global or individual scale.

I pondered what this meant at a time when violence was so prevalent in the news. It wasn’t surprising, I guess, that they should want this, but I couldn’t help but think of Miss Congeniality and began to get annoyed at the generic nature of many of the responses.  Where was the individuality and originality in what people wanted? What did ‘peace’ mean to them exactly? Was it seen as something so big and unattainable that it could only be reached through the somewhat futile act of wishing? Or was it just that the concept was so overwhelming that the words together made it easier to grasp?

Both world peace and inner peace were entwined I figured, and the former definitely couldn’t be achieved without the latter. Surely the executioners and rioters of late couldn’t truly have peace in their hearts.

As I dropped each wish into a brown paper bag I wondered what they were doing to achieve what they had written. Had this work been an opportunity to negate the responsibility in their own lives or was it just the first of the steps that they were taking to get there?

And how did all of this apply to me and my practice?

As the weeks went on I thought about confetti, and bunny’s and magic carpets and tried to find a way to bring the wishes to life in the context of this space. But nothing felt right, my sadness was overwhelming and I was lacking the lightness that I thought I needed.

In the end I could think only of my heart, and how it hurt and how heavy it had felt in recent times and how to make a work to fix it. And then I thought of you, and your hearts, and the impact of sharing joys and sorrows with others to double or halve what we felt.

Could a work that disappeared dispel my sorrows and bring a tiny bit of happiness to others in the process? Could it be a tiny tiny step in bringing peace to our lives?

The badges are a version of a cushion given to me recently by my sister, something that never fails to make me smile every time I see it. Tiny and portable, they are meant to be taken and kept or given away and worn over the heart on sad days.

do it (adelaide)


Interpretation of Yoko Ono’s instruction:

Wish Piece (1996)

y.o. ’96

Make a wish.

Write it down on a piece of paper.

Fold it and tie it around a branch of a Wish Tree.

Ask your friends to do the same.

Keep wishing.

Until the branches are covered with wishes.


My instruction included in the publication:

To heal and be healed

Keep only happy colours

Use them to become strong in the broken places

And be a rainbow in a strangers life


At the Anne and Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, 13 February – 25 April 2015.



ARI Collab


What I should have told Daniel last night, digital print on paper for ‘ARI Collab’, Adelaide Town Hall, February 5 – April 3, 2015. Curated by Polly Jean Dance as part of the Adelaide City Council Emerging Curators Program.

From a series of drawings made on my phone where my secrets and regrets are typed, and then scribbled over with rainbow, so that I feel better for having them and ou feel better for never being able to know.

Drawing Month


When the sun hits the wall, 2014, Rembrandt pastel and charcoal at Adelaide Central School of Art for ‘Drawing Month’.



Tasmanian sky (2013), digital image


Tasmanian Sky (2014), digital image

Light up the Lantern

Moving image works for Light up the Lantern, shown on the Rundle Lantern, corner of Rundle and Pultney Streets, Adelaide.

Partner project between the Australian Network for Art and Technology and the Adelaide City Council.

Pom Pom Again


Applying glitter paint to the floor at Pom Pom, a new contemporary art space dedicated to engaging children (aged 12 years and under) and their families.

Located in Davoren Park in Adelaide’s northern suburbs, Pom Pom offers hands-on creative workshops delivered by leading artists, many with an international profile, over the school term and during school holidays.

Pom Pom supports an art making process between children and their families and carers, while offering children enchanting contemporary arts experiences.

SALA Festival Artist Forum

Speaking about DIY art opportunities at the SALA Festival Artist Forum at the Art Gallery of South Australia.





A small accumulation of liquid (seepage/soakage), 2014, video


The brilliant texture of small town life, 2014, chalk rubbed over the surface of gallery walls to reveal their texture


Filtering the universe on a passage to the lungs, 2014, cigarette butts wrapped in coloured paper, Contemporary Art Tasmania courtyard


A small accumulation of liquid, 2014, handmade and hand coloured puddle, Tasma Street, Hobart

Unkept brings together the work of Jessie Lumb and Claire Kroužecký, both early career artists whose practices are led by humble beginnings and chance occurrences; a ‘paying attention’ to what is considered commonplace and a responsiveness to everyday sites and materials. Curated by Polly Jean Dance at Contemporary Art Tasmania.

Photographs by Jan Dallas