Jessica Murtagh

Jessica Murtagh

Jessica Murtagh is an Adelaide based early career artist working with blown glass. Having recently completed a Master’s in Design (Contemporary Art) from the University of South Australia, her practice is currently based out of JamFactory Contemporary Craft and Design. Jessica’s arts practice leans heavily on illustration, using sandcarving and engraving techniques to create imagery and narratives on glass. Her work is predominantly in the form of vessels, which are both functional and sculptural, ranging from vibrant and dramatic to subdued. She draws inspiration from both the natural world and classical artefacts, contrasted with contemporary themes. 

Jessica’s narrative work is inspired by antiquities from past societies such as the ancient Athenians. Artefacts made of stone, ceramic, metal and glass give glimpses into the stories of their lives, from godly deeds to tableaus depicting everyday moments. Illustrations of the common, mundane scenes of ordinary people are of particular influence on Murtagh’s body of work and a fascination with history and ancient relics has led to exploration of what future artefacts could be, and to question what our contemporary culture will one day leave behind. 

She has exhibited in numerous prizes and exhibitions around Australia. She was recently a finalist in the Tom Malone Glass prize at the Art Gallery of Western Australia. In 2021 Jessica was awarded Highly Commended in the Waterhouse Natural Science prize, and in 2019  was awarded the Vicki Torr Emerging Artist Prize. Her work is held in a number of private collections, and was recently collected by the Powerhouse Museum, the National Gallery of Victoria, Parliament House Art Collection and the Hamilton Art Gallery.

Exhibition Images