Jessica Ashman is a multi-disciplinary artist working in animation moving image, music (under the name Spirit Sigh) performance and installation. Ashman combines traditional drawn, collage and multi-plane animation techniqes with digital animation and mobile phone footage in her work, creating frenetic, textured and abstract narratives that explore gender, identity and race.

She is particularly interested in concepts of ‘the personal archive’ as a social political force, drawing on the wider stories of the Black British diaspora communities she was raised in and the histories lost or hidden in said communities. Black radical feminist theory and science fiction literature are also a heavy influence on Ashman’s practice, especially when it comes to narrative world building.

As Spirit Sigh, Ashman’s soundscapes and music are cinematic and heavily narrative based, relying on a mix of self-taught guitar (from her time as part of DIY Space for London’s, First Timers, that saw Ashman create her former band, Secret Power) and Ashman’s own vocals. Ashman seeks to create transformative spaces that compliment the animated worlds she makes, leaning in to discordant riffs, dark reverbed ambience, layered harmonies and poetry.

She is a BAFTA in Scotland (2011) award winning animator, and MA Animation graduate (2014) from the Royal College of Art. Her work has been supported by Focal Point Gallery, New Art Exchange, Animate Projects, Jerwood Visual Arts Bursary, Arts Council England, UK Film Council and Channel 4's Random Acts. In 2020, Jessica was nominated for an Arts Foundation Futures Awards for Experimental Short Animation.

Jessica’s films have been exhibited in over 60 film festivals internationally, including The Edinburgh International Film Festival, London Short Film Festival and Encounters Short Film Festival.  She has also been selected for the Berlinale Talent Campus, Edinburgh International Film Festival Talent Lab and B3 Media’s Talent Lab.

To talk to her about future projects or commisssions, please contact her at

Artist’s CV

Twitter /// Instagram /// Vimeo