I continue to find that difficult to say or to believe – Jess was hugely supportive of the open studios – I know she believed in it as a way of engaging people with the arts. She generously gave time and thought to supporting it right from her first involvement through the Gedling artists in 2013. She also gave practical help with the hidden stuff, quietly doing a range of necessary admin – things like contributing to artists workshops, arranging meetings, taking minutes and then, from the start of 2017, acting as chair of our organising group. She was also very encouraging to me personally in my own work on the project.
Her artwork and her outlook were joyous as I think these photos show, the latter taken by Neil Pledger in her Sneinton Market Avenue studio in 2018 as part of Inspire’s exhibition about us that year.
Jess was very well known to many through her work, family and community-led life. She was lovely – and I miss her.