Born in sunny South Africa, Jessica Ballantyne moved to London in 2009 after graduating with a BA in Fine art from the University of Pretoria. Specialising in oil painting, Ballantyne creates art in a variety of mediums (such as collage, spray-paint and graphite) which all revolve around the main subject matter and passion of her work: The female body.
Jessica Ballantyne has, from an early age, been fascinated by the portrayal of subjective feeling and experience, especially in regards to the body. Her work is thus almost always figurative with a focus on the female body and transcendent experience.
Influenced by Surrealism and photography, Jessica Ballantyne is enamored and inspired by the work of Hans Bellmer, Salvador Dali, Alex Grey, Man Ray, Cindy Sherman and Francesca Woodman among many others.
Jessica Ballantyne creates bodies that are naked, unusual and autonomous. She combines her experience with philosophical, psychological and academic ideas about subjectivity and sexuality, with spiritual concepts like mindfulness, meditation and self-observation.
"As humans we have been bombarded with imagery of women. Unfortunately many of these images teach us to constantly view ourselves from the outside, as bodies and objects without subjectivity and presence. I rebel against this limiting portrayal of women and invite the viewer into a private, psychological space where I manipulate the physical body to speak about presence, transcending the ego and letting go of attachments to the body and mind." Jessica Ballantyne