Jessica Murtagh

Jessica Murtagh — 'Modern Relic VII: Having it all in lockdown', 2021


The latest series of Modern Relics are a visual documentation of key moments in time on a personal and individual level from the last two years. In a time where the 24 hour news cycle means the public consciousness moves on quickly from events, I believe it’s important to document these common experiences and events in history as a visual record - my own contribution to ensuring we don’t quickly forget the past.


Jessica Murtagh is an Adelaide based glass artist and illustrator, primarily based out of the renowned craft and design space Jam Factory. An arts practice which leans heavily on detailed illustrations on glass, Jessica’s work draws from a long fascination with ancient artefacts and the way we record current events into a visual history. Taking inspiration from Athenian artefacts that are iconic in representing snippets from ancient everyday life and mythical deeds, Jessica’s Modern Relics are created as a way of documenting personal and collective experiences of the day. 

Jessica has exhibited in prizes and exhibitions Australia wide. She was awarded Highly Commended in the 2021 Waterhouse Natural Science prize, is a Vicki Torr Emerging Artist Prize winner and was a finalist in the MilanoVetro -35 prize,  at the Museum of Decorative Arts, Sforza Castle in Milan, Italy in 2020. Jessica has work in a number of private collections and was recently collected by the National Gallery of Victoria. 


As a participant in the inaugural Melbourne Design Fair, Craft Victoria will present a curated collection of the most exciting makers in Australian craft and design. The exhibition will feature 13 makers working across ceramics, textiles, glass and metal, including textile artist Anastasia La Fey, ceramic artist Belle Thierry, textile artist Caro Pattle, ceramic artist Danielle Thiris, furniture and lighting designer Dean Toepfer, artist and experimental designer Jessie French, metalsmith Kenny Yong-Soo, multidisciplinary artist and weaver Lisa Waup, glass artist Misseu, ceramicist Owen Rye, ceramicist Vanessa Lucas, and ceramicist Yoko Ozawa.

Makers will come together in an immersive installation with emerging practitioners featured alongside established designers, showcasing creative ingenuity and material mastery.

Initiated by the NGV Department of Contemporary Design and Architecture and delivered in collaboration with the Melbourne Art Foundation, the fair is a new platform for the craft and design community to bring their collective creative energy together and sell one-off, limited edition pieces in a unique, cultural experience over five days.


Material: hand blown glass, sandblasted and engraved

Dimensions: approx. 33cm x 15.5cm

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