Although she recalls painting landscapes and beach scenes when she was younger, it wasn't until she was asked to participate in a small group exhibition in 2018 (organised by the late Liz O’Brien) that she began to take her practice more seriously. During this exhibition she sold a series of 8 A4 illustrations, and this fuelled her to start refining her practice.
Nowadays Wolfe’s main focus is illustration. She finds building up detail with small strokes immensely satisfying, describing it as “piling grains of sand on top of one another until they stack just right." Wolfe’s work often features macabre subject matter, and she cites death as one of her main sources of inspiration. She’s fascinated by the "bizarre charm" of dead birds or animal remains, and likes being able to present subject matter that could be considered confronting in such a delicate manner. As I photograph her in her home, she shows me her collection of animal bones; a cat skull and a large kangaroo bone, amongst others. Wolfe is also inspired by the living; “nature, love, and connection,” she says.
The amount of time Wolfe spends on each piece depends on the complexity and size of the work. She says with the right motivation, she can complete some smaller pieces in an afternoon, but often her work takes much longer. Wolfe's dedication to her practice is evident in the many hours she puts into her work, with some of her recent illustrations clocking over 80 hours of drawing time.
When it comes to artists she looks up to, Wolfe is in awe of the talented creatives around her. She raves about the work of local artists Jemima Hodge, Brigitte Beyer, Rachel Brain and Ruby Hart. She mentions tattoo artists Eddy Lou (Newcastle) and Elliot Croft (Auckland), as well as artists she follows online like Neva Hosking, Leo Stanberry and Arlene Asuncion.
For Wolfe, the most rewarding aspect of her practice is the sense of satisfaction she feels when she completes a piece she’s been working on for a long time. Her work can be laborious and time-consuming, but she’s driven to continue creating, and the world is all the better for it." - Jessica Wright
Jessica Wright is a photographer, living and creating on Awabakal land.
We Are is a multi-location multimedia photographic experience highlighting creative women of Newcastle, commencing on Wednesday March 8th 2023 (International Women’s Day) and culminating in a celebration event at The Lock-Up on Friday March 24th.
We Are is a portrait project featuring 20 WH!P Collective members turning their lenses towards fellow female and non-binary creatives to highlight the many benefits that a thriving and diverse artistic community bring to our region.
WH!P (Women* of the Hunter !n Photography) was founded in 2020 to embrace and create opportunities for professional photographers from the Hunter region by leveraging the combined skills, experience and credentials of its members. Fostering a culture of support, celebration, exchange, education, advocacy, action, enjoyment, play and growth, it hopes to actively raise the profile of contemporary photographic excellence, education and experimentation in the Hunter Region. WH!P works collaboratively with those both within and beyond the local area who share our belief that the world should be shown through a lens as diverse as the real world.
*all references to women/woman is inclusive of gender diverse people
WH!P’s logos and graphics designed by Laura Kent
“Wolfe likes being able to present subject matter that could be confronting in a delicate manner”.