About Jess

Jessica Murtagh is an emerging artist specialising in hot glass, located in Adelaide, South Australia. After a decade working in marketing in the commercial and not-for-profit sectors, Jessica turned to art in 2017.

Predominantly vessel work, Jessica’s art is both functional and sculptural ranging from vibrant and dramatic to subdued. Her narrative work is pre­dominantly in cameo style which utilises engraving and sandblasting techniques to create imagery on glass. Much of her work seeks to capture either the sublime and destructive beauty of nature or draws inspiration from classical artefacts juxtaposed with today’s contemporary, technologically driven society.

Jessica Murtagh is the 2019 winner of the Ausglass Vicki Torr Emerging Artist prize, awarded ‘highly commended’ in the Wagga Wagga National Emerging Glass Art Prize in 2020 and was a finalist in the Milano Vetro -35 glass prize in Italy. Recently she exhibited a body of work alongside fellow glass artist Rita Kellaway in their exhibition title ‘Vi Naturae’ at Urban Cow Studio in Adelaide.

Awards, grants and achievements

2020 – Awarded ‘Highly Commended’ Wagga Wagga National Emerging Glass Prize, Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, NSW

2020 – New Glass Review 41 magazine featured artist, Corning Museum of Glass, New York

2020 – National assistance program for the arts, Sidney Myer Fund & The Myer Foundation, Sydney

2019 – Winner, Vicki Torr Emerging Artist Art Prize, Ausglass, www.ausglass.com.au

2019 – Carclew Project and Development grant to attend international glass conference in Whanganui, New Zealand

Selected exhibitions

2020 – Finalist, The Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize, SA Museum, SA

2020 – Vi Naturae, duo exhibition with Rita Kellaway, Urban Cow Gallery, SA

2020 – Finalist, Wagga Wagga National Emerging Glass Prize, Wagga Wagga Art Gallery

2020 – Finalist, MilanoVetro -35 prize, Sforza Castle – Museum of Decorative Arts, Milan, Italy

2020 – Finalist, Tom Bass Figurative Sculpture Prize, Juniper Hall, Paddington, NSW

2019 – Finalist, Gallery M Contemporary Art Prize, Gallery M, Marion Cultural Centre, SA

2019 – Finalist, Pro Hart Art Prize, Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery, Broken Hill, NSW

Professional development

2019 – Form + Color with Boyd Sugiki and Lisa Zerkowitz, Corning Museum of Glass, New York, USA

2018 – Colouring in the fundamentals with Lewis Batchelar and Madeline Prowd, Pilchuck Glass School, Washington, USA

2018 – Tumblers: simple perfection with Powell Scott Corning Museum of Glass, New York, USA

2017 – Hot glass processes and techniques with Andrew Baldwin, UniSA


2019 – Graduate Diploma of Design (Contemporary Arts), University of South Australia

2014 – Master of Marketing, University of South Australia


2018 – 2020   Glass blowing assistant for Meg Caslake and David Pedler, Drew Spangenberg, Emma Klau, Emma Young, Hamish Donaldson, Billy Crellin and Eamonn Vereker

2018 – 2019     Hot glass processes and techniques teaching assistant (three semesters) for Kristel Britcher, Gabriella Bisetto and Andrew Baldwin, University of South Australia