Bio & Exhibition History

Posted in About

Jess began her foray into stencil art in 2005, first exhibiting her work in 2008, and has spent most of her time toiling over a table ever since. Under the pseudonym 23rd Key, she creates photo-realistic stencils, taking no short cuts and cutting everything by hand. With a background in printmaking, graphic design, audio engineering and currently studying Architecture, she brings the knowledge from each of these into her already photo-realistic style.

She hand carves each doily-like layer, and this attention to detail has become a trademark of her work, winning her the Australian Stencil Art Prize in 2011 and world Stencil Art Prize in 2014. The nation’s highest accolade for stencil art was only fitting for an artist who is at the forefront of her medium. Working with only 9 layers or fewer on any one piece, she doesn’t believe it’s the number of layers a stencil has that lends to her stunningly photo realistic images, but the amount of detail cut into each individual layer. Breaking ground in her medium, she is one of the few stencil artists to incorporate 3D and free hand elements into her works. 23rd Key excels in breaking the rules of the stencil medium and approaching it in a way none of her peers have before.

In 2011 23rd Key held her first solo show, ‘Skills to Pay the Bills’, showcasing her ground-breaking 3D works, coupled with her already renowned photo-realistic street scenes and portraits. She followed this with her second exhibition in 2014, at Juddy Roller, titled ‘Keezus’, which focused around the theme of ego and explored works that related to the human condition, a theme that was so vast that a second show ‘Keezus: The Second Coming’ developed and launched in February of 2017.

At the age of 29, she is still in the early stages of her art career and has already won a number of prizes and accolades, including the 2017 Emerging Artist award at Forty-Five Downstairs and inclusion in Sydney’s longest running charity auction event ‘Project 5’ in 2014. Having such a distinct style, it’s easy to distinguish her work from the rest. As one of the few women at the forefront of a predominantly male-dominated medium, she is a jack of all trades, and a master of some.

 

 

Education
SAE Institute, Music Production, 2008 – 2009 (Graduated)
RMIT University, Fine Art – Printmaking, 2009-2010
Monash University, Bachelor of Visual Communication & Design, 2010 – 2013 (Graduated)
RMIT, Bachelor of Architecture & Design, 2016 – Present

Solo Exhibitions
Skills to Pay the Bills, Rancho Notorious Gallery, Melbourne, 2011
Keezus, Juddy Roller, Melbourne, 2014
Keezus: The Second Coming, The Stockroom, 2017

Group Exhibitions
Australian Stencil Art Prize, Runner-Up, Sydney, 2009
Melbourne Stencil Festival, Yarra Sculpture Gallery, Melbourne, 2009
Australian Stencil Art Prize – Finalist, Sydney, 2010
Just Another Group Show, 1000 Pound Bend, Melbourne, 2010
Australian Stencil Art Prize –Winner, Sydney, 2011
Ladie Killerz 4, One Five Faction, Footscray, 2011
Just Another Female Skateboard Exhibition, One Five Faction, Footscray, 2011
Up The Bend, Rancho Notorious Gallery, Melbourne, 2011
In the Cut, Goodtime Studios, Melbourne, 2011
Just Another Group Show, 1000 Pound Bend, Melbourne, 2011
Espionage Gallery Launch, Espionage Gallery, Adelaide, 2011
A Cut Above, Espionage Gallery, Adelaide, 2011
All Stars Exhibition, Espionage Gallery, Adelaide, 2011
Rotary Club of Ocean Groves first annual art show – Peoples Choice Award, Queenscliffe, Vic, 2011
Board, NGV Studio, Vic, 2012
Urban Art Show, Brunswick Street Gallery, Vic, 2012
…Theres More!, Cocoa Jackson Studios, Vic, 2012
Urban Creatures, Toyota Community Spirit Gallery, Port Melbourne, 2012
Ladie Killerz 5, HQ Gallery, Western Australia, 2012
A Cut Above II, Espionage Gallery, 2012
Art House Street and Urban Art Auction, Sydney, 2012
Art House Street and Urban Art Auction, Melbourne, 2012
Just Another Group Show, 1000 Pound Bend, 2012
Works on paper, Just Another Project Space, 2012
Live painting @ Semi-permanent after party, Melbourne, 2012
Live body painting @ Tees halloween, 1000 Pound Bend, Melbourne, 2012
Urban Art Show 2, Brunswick Street Gallery, 2012
Australian Stencil Art Prize, Runner-Up, Sydney, 2012
Rotary Club of Ocean Grove second annual art show – First & Second Prize, Queenscliffe, Vic, 2012
2nd Anniversary Group Exhibition, Espionage Gallery, Adelaide, 2013
Time and Tide – Living and surviving in the 21st Century, Toyota Community Spirit Gallery, Port Melbourne, 2013
YEN Female Art Award, Runner-Up, Gaffa Gallery, Sydney, 2013
Footscray Street Art Prize, 2013
All Your Walls, Hosier Lane, 2013
After Dark, NBHD Neanderthal, South Yarra, 2013
CCP Photo Salon, Collingwood, 2013
Australian Stencil Art Prize, Runner-Up, Sydney, 2013
Under One Roof – Art for the Arts Fundraiser, New York, New York, 2014
Stencil Art Prize, aMBUSH Gallery –Winner, Sydney, 2014
OPEN, Darling Quarter, Sydney, 2014
First Flight, City Bird Gallery, NYC, 2014
Street Art Exhibition, Benalla Art Gallery, 2015
Your Kid Can’t Do This, aMBUSH Gallery, Sydney, 2015
Art Town, Melbourne, 2015
YEN Female Art Award, Runner-Up, Gaffa Gallery, Sydney, 2015
12 X 12, The Stockroom, Ringwood, Victoria, 2015
Joy, B-Side Gallery, 2016
Stickers and Slaps, B-Side Gallery, 2017
Emerging Artist Award – Winner, Forty Five Downstairs, 2017
Unofficial Collaboration Group Show, the Stockroom, 2017

Charity Exhibitions
Online charity through 696 Gallery, Brunswick, 2008
MelBurners for Burna, Melbourne, 2008
Drink or Swim fundraiser for Multiple Sclerosis, Collingwood, 2011
Get Trucked, fundraiser for Cancer Foundation, 2009, 2010, 2011
Expo for Mattia, Naples, Italy, 2011
Project 5 Volume 6, Sydney, 2014
Peterson Project (Royal Children’s Hospital), Collingwood, 2015
Art Of The Mill, Woodend, Victoria, 2016
The Art of Banksy, Federation Square, 2016
Bring A Plate, The Stockroom, 2016
‘For Syrias Children’ Besser Space, 2017

Commissions
Range Rover- Evoque car launch party, 2011
Noisy Beast, corporate mural wall, Melbourne, 2012
Judge of the Footscray Art Prize, 2012
“Frosties”, Traffic Signal Box Project, City of Yarra, 2013
Wood & Grieve Engineers Office Mural, Melbourne, 2014
‘Wall to Wall Festival’, Benalla, Victoria, 2015
Community Murals for QIC, Eastland, Victoria
‘Wall to Wall Festival’, Benalla, Victoria, 2016
McCauly Womens Centre, Footscray, 2016
Vibrant Laneways, Brisbane City Council, 2017
WPI facade mural Upfield line trackside, 2017

Residencies
696 Gallery, Brunswick, 2008 – 2010
“Board” 3 day artist workshop, NGV Studio, Vic, 2012
Art Boy Gallery, Prahran, 2012
Artshole Studio, Elsternwick, 2013 – 2015
Signed and Numbered, Prahran/Melbourne, 2013 – Present
The Stockroom, Eastland, Ringwood, Victoria 2015 – Present.

Reviews/Articles/Features
InVurt online blog interview, 2011
Daily Telegraph, Sydney, 2010
Time Out Magazine, Sydney, 2010
Melbourne Weekly Magazine, Bayside, 2010
3D World Magazine, 2010
BRAG Magazine 2009
Avant Card post card art release of ‘Tiger’, 2013
Melbourne Mx Newspaper, 2008
Herald Sun Newspaper, November, 2011
Three Magazine, Worldwide iPad only Street Press, December Issue, 2011
Art Series Hotels Outpost Project video interview; http://vimeo.com/32940825 2011
Cherrie Magazine Street Press, January, 2012
Gallery Magazine, National Gallery of Victoria, Jan/Feb, 2012
Capital Vices, Blog, June 2012; http://capitalvices.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/espionage-cut-above-ii.html
Avant Card post card art release of ‘Elephant Vanishes’, 2013
Nothing to Nobody Magazine, Issue 11, January – March, 2013
Melbourne Review, 2017

Books
Rah Collective book 1- double spread feature, 2011
Just Another Book- double spread feature, 2011
Just Another Book II- double spread feature, 2012
Rah Collective book 3- double spread feature, 2013
Street Art Australia By Lou Chamberlin, 2015