Jess Davies is a photographer living and working in London. Nuanced and multifaceted, her work often delves into the intricacies of feminist theory. In her first series, Sorry for Your Loss, her female subjects assume the trope of the 50’s housewife. Enervated and stifled, they occupy the space of their setting almost as fixtures. The illusion that we are looking at a vintage snapshot is broken only by the familiar brands of crisps and soft drink cans that are strewn throughout the shot, ultimately hinting that there may be a degree of contemporary truth and relevance to the trope.
Davies’ work also addresses concepts of the gaze, especially in the self-referential nature of the images. Lighting equipment and photographic tripods left in shot, making us aware of the model becoming subjectivised through our viewing. In this sense, the images are musings on the relationship between subject and viewer, exploring the implications of the medium of photography itself.
Elsewhere in Davies’ work, the medium of film, too, is referenced, albeit in more literal terms. In a more recent series titled The Succubus, there is a distinct element of the cinematic and the fantastical, as ideal housewife is traded for silver screen femme fatale, revealing a spectrum of influences that meanders from Freudian concepts of the uncanny to seventies horror film poster aesthetics to pulp fiction magazine covers. Taloned and fork-tongued, the female subjects here appear treacherous and predacious; a spin on the Hollywood seductress that simultaneously comments on the dynamics of the female role in film at large.
1995 Born in Bath, UK
2014 Lives and works in London, UK
2014 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, Central Saint Martins, London, UK
2018 1st Class Hons, Fine Art, Chelsea College of Arts, London, UK
Exhibitions and Publications:
2015 "Synonyms for Exploration", Millbank, London
2016 "Territories", Chelsea College of Art, London
"Random Exhibition Title Generator", 5th Base Gallery, London
2017 "The Art Salon", Super Lash Boutique, London
2018 "Perfect Housewives in Ideal Homes", Chelsea College or Art, London
"Sorry For Your Loss", 16 John Islip St, London
"Randez-vous In a Lonely City", Peckham Levels, London
2020 "The Succubus", Worms Magazine
2021 "Time's A Wastin'", OD Magazine
"The Succubus ii", Worms Magazine
"GALA", Lobster Magazine