Jess de Wahls is a British textile artist (originally from Berlin,) who primarily focuses on intersectional feminist commentary. Her instagram has nearly 20-thousand followers, and recently, she has been embroidering themed ovaries. Jess runs her own etsy shop, where she sells patches, original artwork, and patterns. Also on Jess’ etsy shop are tickets to an embroidery workshop she is hosting, where she will be instructing beginner and seasoned stitchers on how to create the popular ovaries.
In 2014, de Wahls was featured in the Huffington Post for her solo exhibition, “Big Swinging Ovaries” in London. Jess has coined the term “Retex-Sculpting”, as it refers to her fusion of using REcycled TEXtured materials. This Retex-Sculpting technique has resulted in de Wahls making large portraits of women like Chimamanda Ngozy Adichi, and Frida Kahlo.
“Whether I use my self-created niche- Retex-Sculpting , drawing, or embroidery,-the subject of inspirational human beings [mostly female] has become my paramount focus. Their influence on myself as a modern woman, Feminist and Artist, on Feminism as a whole and on their position as Role models to young girls growing up in a society that has, no doubt, come a long way in liberating its women but has yet a great length ahead of it. Not to mention the work that needs to be done in other parts of our planet, where women are to date still oppressed, belittled and generally treated as second class humans.”
It’s fascinating to see de Wahls produce at such a rapid pace, especially when her work is so detailed. Her work has a witty amusement, and it’s clear that she takes time and consideration with designing her pieces before committing to stitching. I also appreciate her effort to stay as green as possible and utilize recycled materials when sculpting. I’m excited to see what Jess keeps creating, and I hope she considers coming to New York at some point to instruct a class or even have another exhibition.