Tortuga fuses wine and art

The Journal attends the latest art, food and wine event at Tortuga Rum company, exploring a new trend in the art world and some Argentine classics in the wine world. Nibbles provided by Lone Star Bar & Grill.

The art

Jessica Wallace says she has lived and breathed art in all its capacities since she was old enough to hold a brush. Growing up in her mother’s thriving art studio, studying art at school, and teaching art for ten years at all levels to all ages, has allowed Jessica the opportunity to witness first hand the profound power of art to heal, grow, and challenge individuals and communities. 

After being hired as the National Gallery’s Education manager, one of Jessica’s first challenges was to curate an exhibition to showcase the talents of all of the NGCI’s outreach programme participants. 

“The Up and Out Street Art exhibition was the result,” she says, “providing a medium for those on the fringes of society to have their voices heard, and proved itself to be a powerful art form capable of regenerating communities, challenging and inspiring people towards positive social purpose, and forming common bonds among conflicting facets of a society.” 

This exhibition emphasised the opinion that street art is quickly becoming recognised as the defining art movement of the 21st Century, she says.

“This new art form, however, is still relatively unexplored,” she says. “Therefore when this exhibition created a demand for street art workshops and classes, I was challenged to continue developing spray painting techniques to teach.” 

Jessica says she loved to see the intrinsically positive effects occurring as people were able to express themselves with this free flowing medium. She also began experimenting with spray paint in her own studio with various ways to achieve detailed elements as well as loose and lively components. This new medium was thrilling to use and challenged Jessica to develop novel techniques, and methods never before taught.

Jessica took the art form to a new level though in her own artwork, combining the use of spray paint and handmade stencils with her various other passions, including photography and painting. Over the last two years, Jessica has further developed this combination of artistic techniques to create a new art form which she refers to as ‘art fusion’. 

Jessica’s innovative new art form begins with carving intricate stencils from digitally transformed photographs printed on a special type of card. The stencil images, when sprayed with a specific range and type of spray paint can then be combined into Jessica’s original acrylic paintings. The result of this creative combination is an edgy, contemporary art form unlike any other. It subscribes to an unexplored artistic alternative that is more open, non-exclusive, and strives to combine the distinctive qualities of photography, street art and painting all in one.

Finca Flinchman’s first vineyards were planted back in 1873 in the area of Barrancas, Maipu in Argentina’s province of Mendoza. In 1998 the winery was expanded and new vines were planted, creating top quality wines that defined the wines of the region. The winery has created their ‘Misterio Chardonnay’ from 100 per cent Chardonnay grapes. The wine is aged three months in oak casks and stainless steel tanks, with a further three months in the bottle. 

Massimo Consolini, head of Wine Division and sales representative for Tortuga Rum Company describes the wine: “It’s a greenish yellow colour, with white plums, asparagus and a hint of vanilla at the nose with a fresh and persistent flavour.”

The winemaker’s oak aged Malbec is made from 100 per cent Malbec grapes from Mendoza.

Max confirms: “Malbec is a French grape that has met its ideal growing conditions at Mendoza. In this case the careful grape selection, the high quality and traditional production together with the well handled ageing in small oak barrels have made this Malbec the ideal partner to Argentine cuisine.” Look out for violet hues and fresh pit fruit aromas, especially plum, together with vanilla in an oak background.

“Its softness makes this wine an ideal mate for every moment!” Max says. 

Jessica Wallace’s upcoming exhibition ‘FINDING PEACE’ will be held at the Visual Art’s Society and opens Friday 18 March, 2011 6pm – 8pm.


Jessica’s art