Sadness is sexy


Sadness is Sexy is an ongoing self study of intimate self portraits that don’t always depict the self. 


These works were never originally intended to become a series. They are snapped compulsively over time capturing moments of stillness and vulnerability.


Every image is a mirror reflecting back everything felt and perceived within a moment. As an artist driven by stillness I do not photograph with my eye, I photograph with my heart. Every time I press the shutter I capture the emptiness of time.


I am exhausted, heartbroken and empty.


centre for contemporary photography - 2021

Jessica Schwientek is a fine artist working within the expansive realm of photography. Focussed primarily on process and the cathartic act of image making Schwientek’s work always has the human condition at its core. Expressing sadness, grief, love, exhaustion and anger she attempts to make sense of her place within existence.


Schwientek holds a Bachelor of Media and Communications Majoring in Photography (Honours) from Deakin University, Melbourne (2016), and is the owner and director of NOIR Darkroom in Coburg. She was the recipient of the 2019 Moreland Award for her ‘Contribution to Art and Culture’. Recent exhibitions include: Sadness is Sexy, NOIR Darkroom, Melbourne (2019); Diaries (Loosen Art), Millepiani Gallery, Rome, IT (2020); 12 x 12, The Stockroom Gallery, Melbourne (2018); Obscuring the Camera, NOIR Darkroom, Melbourne (2018); All the Feels, Loop Project Space, Melbourne (2018); Dichotomy of Memories (with Neta-Marie Mabo), Deakin Project Space, Geelong (2015); and 100 years, The SUBSTATION, Melbourne (2016).

Photo Credits: Keira Hudson (

Original 2019 exhibition flyer