Living in the city, longing for the sea...
Jess Rippengale grew up in southeast Cornwall and graduated from the University of Plymouth with a first-class BA (hons) in Fine Art. Her work has been shown in London through the Unravelling collective and Scotland with the Spilt Milk collective. She spent a decade in London working for the University of the Arts London, developed and facilitated Tunisian crochet workshops and organised occasional pop-up shops to showcase and sell work. She now lives and works on a Dutch barge in Bristol harbour.
Jess’s work explores the British coast through the medium of contemporary craft. She whittles crochet hooks from driftwood and uses them to create colourscapes of the beaches they came from, working with the idea that the driftwood reveals its ‘memory’ of the beach. Unique to her practise is the fact that each hook is used only once, then serving as a hanging bar for the work.
The elemental nature of Cornwall seeps into Jess’ work. The sea comforts. It is a safe place and is used as subject, object and memory. Her current practice evolved from time spent living in London, where the distance to it seemed insurmountable. It is a conversation that connects Jess to the sea, creating links to friends and strangers who gift sticks from their coastal wanderings.
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