Jessie McLennan

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Smiling Brian
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Jessie is a figurative sculptor.
She works predominately in clay and plaster with some in wax and cast in bronze.

Jessie works in her studio in West Gippsland.

Artists Statement

I sculpt because I love it. I love the feeling of the clay. I love the process, and it is a long process. I make many small works. sometimes I like one enough to make a bigger version. By the time I finish these projects, it is like the slow unwrapping of a treasured present.

I love the feeling of capturing someones essence. When I make portraits it is very exciting the closer it comes to finishing. It feels like I am bringing them to life. It makes me smile and I want to talk to them. Sometimes I make portraits from memory, sometimes my subject is sitting there talking to me or doing another activity. Usually they are from a few photos.

I went to Paris in 2010 to study the incredible archive of art there. I spent many days at the Louvre. I studied the beautiful torsos and the amazing carved eyes of the classical italian marble sculptures and busts. I was also deeply taken by the joy and life communicated in the sculptures from the Belle Epoque by artists like; Jean Houdon, Francois Rude and Francisque Joseph Duret. There were sculptures absolutely everywhere in Paris. I sketched Maillol's Bronzes as I ate lunch on the grass. I returned numerous times to the Rodin Gallery. The more time I spent there, the more I absorbed his works. He had captured such movement and torment. I also became very aware of his mark and that the artists can leave a mark, that sculptures don't have to be pollished like a machine. The artists mark that Rodin left connected me to him through the sculpture. I also identified more with Rodin as a sculptor because his sculptures, like mine, all have huge hands and feet.


  • 1973 Born Bairnsdale
  • 1992-94 BA Fine Art (sculpture) RMIT
  • 1996-1999 BA Teaching Deakin
  • 2000-2010 Teaching Art


  • 2011 Portrait award at the Trafalgar Rotary Art Show.
  • 2011 Easter Arts Show, Drouin


  • 1990 Hammond and Wheatley Gallery
  • 1993 Senses Gallery Melbourne
  • 1994 Graduate Exhibition Melbourne
  • 2005 Rotary Art Show Warragul
  • 2006 Rotary Art Show Warragul
  • 2007 Rotary Art Show Warragul
  • 2008 Art Gippsland
  • 2009 Art Gippsland
  • 2010 Open studio Buln Buln
  • 2011 Bairnsdale Museum
  • 2011 Swaffields Trafalgar
  • 2011 Trafalgar Rotary Art Show 
  • 2011 Town and Country Gallery, Yarragon
  • 2011 Bradley Hall
  • 2011 Jindivic Sculpture Show
  • 2011 Commercial Hotel, Yarragon
  • 2011 West Gippsland Arts Centre
  • 2011 Stockyards Gallery Foster




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