Art in the Park: Bunkers, Beach Stripes and Ices by Jeni Snell
Bunkers, Beach Stripes and Ices by Jeni Snell
Jeni Snell is a British London-based multi-disciplinary visual artist. Jeni attended La Houguette School which was built on top of redundant WW11 German gun battery Mirus – which brought the opposing dynamics of ‘childhood innocence’ and ‘architecture of war’ together within the playground. It is clear that the physical contact from playing in and amongst the bunkers developed an emotional connection with them. This was both the catalyst for becoming an Artist, and the model for the coexistence of the formal and conceptual oppositions within her work.
Jeni, who identifies as Queer, creates artworks that celebrate and promote diversity, personal empowerment, and equality by using allegory and metaphor to undermine oppression and control mechanisms. For her forthcoming exhibition her paintings feature bunkers floating amidst a fantasy seaside-iconography, highlighting their coastal strategic prominence. The playful juxtaposition of ‘stripes’ and artificially oversized ‘ice-creams/lollies’ conjure summer sun, beach wear & equipment, and ice-cream parlour hoardings and advertising. These playful juxtapositions undermine the war-machine because this architecture of war can no longer harm us, standing idle, defeated by nature and the passing of time - the seaside reclaimed by leisure pursuits.
Paying homage to Guernsey’s German Occupation heritage, Jeni often works with cast-concrete methodology to create her sculptures, such as in her new series of ‘Brutalist Ice-creams’. Adopting the make-do-and-mend creative resourcefulness of Channel-Islanders under Occupation, Jeni combines found discarded objects collected from her daily walks in the city with her made objects (also often made using found objects such as food packaging and drinks containers as moulds). Re-purposing and re-cycling developed from her life-choices into her arts practice and is an ecological statement against human greed and our throw-away society. As we strive to avoid further world-wide ecological catastrophe it ironically is the abandoned places
that are thriving having been left alone and free from misguided human intervention
“I am delighted to be exhibiting my artwork with the National Trust. I will be in conversation with Mark Cook (Head of Art at the College of Further Education) about this exhibition. All welcome. Please watch this space for details”.
Jeni has a First-class (Hons) Bachelor of Art Degree in Fine Art gained from The School of Art, Design, Media & Culture, University of Sunderland in 1999, and a Masters of Arts Degree in Fine Art with Art Theory from Central Saint Martins in 2007.
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- Folk and Costume Museum Saumarez Park Castel GY5 7UJ