Esther Hesketh graduated with a first class BA (Hons) in Art and Visual Culture at UWE Bristol in 2020, and undertook an Erasmus term at UDK, Berlin in 2019. She sees sculpture, text, furniture, and exhibition design sitting in parallel across her practice.
Whilst studying in Bristol, Esther worked and volunteered with an array of networks including Centre of Gravity, Knowle West Media Centre and Creative Youth Network, and has organised and participated in exhibitions at Space Gallery, The Station, The Latch, Centrespace, Arnolfini and Bristol Beacon.
During her time at UWE Bristol, Esther specialised in metalwork and continues to incorporate this into her own practice, while also working as a Support Technician at the University.
Her recent work explores the narrative of a cruise ship out at sea, inspired by the ferry which crosses back and forth across the harbour in Bristol and the pebbles that fill her coat pockets on a walk. She is creating cast pewter hooks, brackets and fish, assembling lamps from repurposed old sculptures and surrounding herself with shelves in her studio-based practice.
A quick Q&A with Esther Hesketh
Tell us about your process [in the studio]
I love having a studio. I have moved in and made it a place. I have my stove which I use for coffee and pewter casting, a woodwork side of the desk and a clean(er) side. I have a great appreciation for shelves and they hold lamps, pebbles, photographs, books and my tools, specifically designed for each of their uses. I have a little dustpan and brush and make a point of tidying up at the end of each day.
My practice is process-driven – I focus on material fabrication and research, inspired by objects in my everyday surroundings.
What or who are your inspirations?
Ferry decks and faded plastics,
Sitting and unmatching chairs,
The seat in front of the dining table, after a meal with the goldfish trifle,
My balcony, a smoker’s bench,
Martino Gamper, Max Lamb, Francis Upritchard, Franz Erhard Walther, Franz West, Erwin Wurm.
A Bristol highlight: a favourite place or thing to do?
Summer in Bristol and leaving the studio and sitting along the harbour into the evening. I like my cycle commute to the studio, mostly following the water. The cycle path between Bower Ashton and Cumberland Road, as you just come around the corner and you can see the hill and houses and the suspension bridge I always pass at the end of a day in the workshops at Bower. Cycling this way home when it catches the light always makes me love Bristol.
Each year Spike Island offers fellowships to promising graduates. These artists, selected from an open call to students, are offered studio space at Spike Island for a year. This opportunity aims to support and encourage young artists in Bristol as they begin to develop their professional practices.
Find out more about the Fellowships