Jesse Leroy Smith was born in London, but has lived in Cornwall since 2001. He studied at Norwich School of Art 85-88 and then at the Royal Academy schools 89-92 . His work has been greatly influenced by exhibiting and travelling in countries such as Ireland, Turkey, Norway, Greece, Nepal, Italy and Germany.
As an established painter he has exhibited in public and commercial galleries and international art fairs. He has also initiated and curated immersive multi-media shows in dis-used spaces, such as the ‘Darkrooms’ at CAST, Helston, ‘Revolver’ in a Penzance ex-car-showroom and ‘Suspended Sentences’ in a Newlyn fish factory and most recently ‘Unstable Monuments’ in a wharf side factory in Truro bringing artists from Germany, London and Cornwall together, funded by the Arts Council. In 2011 he co curated PRINT ! at the Exchange in Penzance as survey of historical and contemporary International Printmaking with Bernard Irwin. He is a visiting lecturer at Falmouth University and the Newlyn School of Art.
His recent paintings collage cultural heroes with family ‘members’ and intimately known land with once visited or never seen places. Sometimes inviting close friends to render the under-painting that frequently re-surfaces and his children to better describe creatures or performers. The ensuing images jar and meld into a beguiling translation of the ancestry and identity of the maker/s.
“The Picturing the Mines project offers me the ideal opportunity to collaborate with artists, mining experts, historians and the public. To explore the profound themes inherent in the mining story including migration, religion, visceral labour and tenacious invention.”