Jess Leonard is a Sydney based emerging artist in the genre of photography. Jess’s practice investigates the life and death of birds and animals arousing morbid curiosities whilst exploring the beauty in what has passed on. Jess graduated from Sydney College of the Arts, a faculty of Sydney University, majoring in photo media and receiving the Deans University Award for her year.
Since then she has continued to work in the arts industry and has made the finals of numerous prizes and awards including The Prohart Outback Award, Lethbridge 2000, Banyule Award for Works on Paper Youth Prize and also received a Highly Commended in the Ravenswood Australian Womens Art Prize Emerging Artist for 2019.
Museum, roadside and animal specimens are explored within my practice. The photographs engage with conflicting processes of death and collectively navigate the many forms of decomposition and the methods of preservation put in place to defy it.
My works play on the boundaries and tensions between the beautiful and the grotesque and through these specimens of decay I attempt to explore life. My subjects although deceased possess a life and personality of their own and I hope to capture this through the lens as I endeavor in my own way to give them life again