JESWRI <em>Treaty ft. Senator Lidia Thorpe</em> 2022; mural painting. Courtesy of the designerJESWRI <em>Treaty ft. Senator Lidia Thorpe</em> 2022; mural painting. Courtesy of the designer<br/>


(b. 1990, Sydney. Lives and works in Melbourne)

JESWRI (pronounced ‘Jess-rye’) is a Gadigal artist of the Eora Nation, born and raised in Sydney and now based in Melbourne. With an art practice dating back to 2005, JESWRI has made a name for himself in Australia and internationally with his large-scale street art, pop culture-inspired murals and numerous brand collaborations. 

In the early days of his career, JESWRI spent his time as a graffiti writer, designer and commercial art director in the advertising industry. In 2017, he left advertising to pursue his art practice full-time. Since then, he has worked with brands including Converse, PlayStation, Vans, Audio-Technica, PAX Australia, Pirate Life, Young Henrys, MTV, Adobe, Samsung and Sony, as well as bands like Foo Fighters and sports teams including the NRL’s Parramatta Eels and Japan Pro-Wrestling. He has also created murals for some of Australia’s top communication, digital, branding and advertising agencies. 

The work featured in Babel Bookcase showcases an evocative strand of personal and political themes in JESWRI’s practice. His striking portrait of senator Lidia Thorpe captures her spirit of activism. Thorpe is the first senator for Victoria of Indigenous descent, and a strong critic of many Australian political institutions. With its bold colours, the work serves as a powerful tribute to Thorpe’s contributions to the community. From the fire is a poster for Bushfire Brandalism, an unsanctioned outdoor art campaign across three cities in Australia, protesting against the Australian government’s inaction on climate change, in the context of the devastating 2020 bushfires. See you in November reveals a personal side: this work celebrates the birth, in late 2022, of JESWRI’s first child. 

In 2020, JESWRI co-founded Honey Bones, a culture-focused gallery in Brunswick with an emphasis on emerging artists.