Jessica Peterson is a Toronto-based artist who examines the practical applications of the body as a valid knowledge-producer, specifically as a coping mechanism for mental health. A stronger and clearer focus on the constant information provided by the body can offer a brief respite from an overburdened mind. Over time, these small course corrections will bring more lasting clarity and relief. Before starting a painting, Peterson first constructs full-size figurative sculptures and photographs them in different environments to use as references. The figures are covered with repetitive shapes is an attempt to visually represent how our body collects information, data so complex and dense it resists being explained in words. Building a sculpture is important to Peterson because of how familiar she becomes with her subject even before beginning to paint it, and how painting from photos results in an inimitable quality, rooted in specificity of detail. Overripe tries to pinpoint the exact physical feeling of overindulgence.
Peterson studied Fine Arts at Queen’s University. Immediately upon graduating in 2017, she won the BMO 1st Art! Award for Ontario. The BMO 1st Art! show at the Justina Barnicke Gallery was her first exhibition.