Under the pseudonym 23rd Key, Jessica Kease began her foray into stencil art in 2005 and has spent most of her time toiling over a table since. With a background in printmaking, graphic design and audio engineering, she is currently studying Architecture and is one of few women in Melbourne working in the street art scene. By creating photo-realistic stencils, taking no short cuts and cutting everything by hand, 23rd Key excels in breaking the rules of the stencil medium and approaching it in a way none of her peers have before. In 2011, she won the Australian Stencil Art Prize and the world Stencil Art Prize in 2014.
"I have always found Zaha to be an inspirational woman. She was a designer and architect and was unapologetically strong in a field that was, and largely still is, dominated by men. I have always tried to display the same strength, being a female stencil artist in a male-dominated space, and also an Architecture student. Zaha has paved the way for women like me in a lot of ways. I cut this stencil of her as a tribute after hearing of her passing earlier this year. I have a style of cutting stencils that no one else uses. I think of it as revolutionary where stencil mural painting is concerned, so I thought this was the most fitting way for me to portray a woman who was most certainly a revolutionary in her field."
During the exhibition, 23rd Key will stencil the face of Zaha Hadid onto a wall just a stone’s throw away from Neospace Gallery. Follow us on social media to find out when this is going down!
A big thanks to the Women’s Mural Representation Project (as part of Women’s Art Register)
and City of Yarra for supporting us to bring the exhibition to the streets.