April 14, 2022
RE: Letter of support for the contrarian
To whom it may concern,
I am writing this letter in support of Jessie Bullivant for the work they created at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art’s (ACCA) NEW15 exhibition titled Inside Job.
I first met Jessie through my wife, who studied art together at RMIT where they forged at strong bond. As I got to know Jessie and their practice, it became very obvious, very quickly, that Jessie’s approach to their practice was one of a contrarian. As a creative director in the world of marketing and advertising, I strongly believe that brands become more effective and successful when they act or do the of the opposite of what is expected, or how their competitors behave. So when Jessie first asked for my help in the way of procuring stock imagery for NEW15, a show at ACCA of all places, how could I not support it?
While every other artist produced bodies of work that had a material presence for NEW15, Inside Job was hidden, almost non existent. The work was a subtle performance that was only discovered when patrons asked invigilators a question – it would be met with a non-verbal shrug. To promote the show, I helped Jessie procure was a image of a man shrugging his shoulders looking nonchalant.
NEW15 is a show designed to promote the very best up and coming artists. It’s a time and place that is generally reserved for big, bold and highly visual. It took bravery and confidence to use this platform, and risk this opportunity, to show up as the contrarian. Somehow I feel like this is not a risk for Jessie, but more something to revel in. This approach to their practice is something I will always support.