Jeni Snell



Laura I Gallery is delighted to showcase the work of British London-based multi-disciplinary visual artist Jeni Snell. Jeni (born 1972) uses drawing, photography, painting, sculpture, installation and digital art processes to explore the impact that our early environment has upon the formation of personal identity. Similar to Belgian Artist Luc Tuymans where World War 11 is a recurring theme used to explore people’s relationships with history, Jeni’s 2 & 3D work, uses her early experience of attending a school built on top of a redundant WW11 German gun battery – which brought the opposing dynamics of ‘childhood innocence’ and ‘architecture of war’ together within the playground – as both the catalyst for becoming an Artist, and the model for the coexistence of the formal and conceptual oppositions within her work.

Jeni, who was born in Guernsey, creates artworks that celebrate diversity, personal empowerment, and equality by using allegory and metaphor to undermine oppression and control mechanisms. Bunkers or projectile weaponry – both being symbols of soldiery – are playfully combined within a mocking narrative of resistance with the innocent, seemingly-inconsequential, or banal; such as oversized advertise hoarding models of ice-creams and ice-lollies, or saccharinely sweet kitsch and camp ceramic ornaments – everyday objects, used in a similar way that American Artist Jeff Koons re-contextualized proletarian luxury (thus playing with the distinction between low and high art).

Jeni was born in Guernsey, the second largest of the Channel Isles, and the only British territory to be occupied by Nazi Germany during WW11 – resulting in the Islands being heavily fortified. Following the end of the war in 1945 these monumental Brutalist installations were quickly de-militarized resulting in a scarred landscape. In the 1970’s one such site was utilized as foundations for La Houguette Primary School which Jeni attended from age 5 to 12. It is clear that the physical contact achieved from playing in and amongst these redundant forts developed an emotional connection with form and material, so it’s hardly surprising that Jeni first and foremost identifies with being a sculptor and states her 2D work of painting and digital art is executed with 3D considerations.

Jeni regards her three most memorable art achievements to date as gaining the Central Saint Martins 2008 ‘Artist and Collectors Bursary’ (whilst undertaking her MA in Fine Art with Art Theory) which is awarded to one student from each of the six Universities of the Arts London, spearheaded by Kay Saatchi. Jeni spent the whole award of £3,000.00 on making an audience-interactive installation, ‘FORTRESS’, an inflatable bunker which consolidated her childhood experience and contributed to the debate of ‘play as a political gesture’. ‘FORTRESS’ was included in ANTICIPATION – An exhibition of London’s Best Emerging Artists in 2008. The show was the culmination of a years’ curatorial work by Kay Saatchi and Catriona Warren, who visited 250 studios and graduate art shows choosing 21 artists from Camberwell, CSM, Chelsea, Goldsmiths, City and Guilds, London Collage of Communication, Royal Academy Schools, Royal Collage of Art and Sculpture, Slade and Wimbledon.

British, born Guernsey, Channel Islands, UK. Lives and works in London.

MA Fine Art with Art Theory at the University of the Arts London, Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, 2007. BA (Hons) Fine Art (First Class),The School of Art, Design, Media & Culture, University of Sunderland, UK, 1995-99.

Awards include
University of the Arts London- Artist Exchange and Collectors Bursary (2006), The Juliet Gomperts Trust Project Grant (2006), The Oppenheim- John Downes Memorial Trust Award (2005), The Arts Council of England- Grant for Individuals (2003 and 2002), The Princes Trust- Arts & Business Grant (2001) and Northern Arts- Materials & Equipment Grant (2000)
Selected virtual group exhibitions include
Laura I Gallery Globalisation – Exploring the I and You in an Era of Change 25 October – 28 November 2021.
Art Toronto Art Fair Canada, OCAD University Canada & UAL (University of the Arts London) collaboration, Radiance: an exhibition showcasing alumni 29 October – 7 November 2021.
Selected solo and two-person art exhibitions include

The Greenhouse Gallery, Guernsey Museum, Guernsey, Channel Islands, UK. Achtung Baby! Jeni Snell – Painting, Collage and Sculpture. 24 January – 17 March 2019.

Sartorial Contemporary Art, Kings Cross, London, UK. 30 October- 20 November 2009. Anka Dabrowska and Jeni Snell – 
Concrete Jungle.

Coach House Gallery, Guernsey, Channel Islands, UK. 12 July- 7 August 2009 COAST Jeni Snell – new paintings.

The Delfina Foundation, London, UK. 11- 22 November 2008 Playground-Battlefield, Jeni Snell – Mirus Delfina, visitor-interactive installation. 13 November 2008 Public talk – Jeni Snell in conversation with Prof. Barry Curtis.

Seven Seven Contemporary Art, London, UK. 6- 21 August 2004 Places I Have Lived – Jeni Snell, New work- drawing on board.

Selected group exhibitions include
Archive Gallery, Haggerston, London. Queer Art Now 13- 22 March 2020.
The Silver Building, Royal Docks, London. CITYISLAND Anka Dabrowska, Jeni Snell, Stav B. Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Installation, Photography and Performance. 13- 20 June, 2019. 
Payneshurvell Gallery, 16 Hewett Street, London. 10 June- 24 July 2010. A Bright and Guilty Place.

Sartorial Contemporary Art, Kings Cross, London, UK. 26 November- 17 December 2009. URBANART – Panik, Cyclops, James Jessop, Rowdy, Sweet Toof and Jeni Snell – Fortress Sartorial Graffiti Event.
Elevator Gallery, Hackney Wick, London, UK. 17 April- 3 May 2009 No Mans Land.

Orleans House Gallery, London, UK. April- June 2002 The Foundation for Women’s Art, Art, Age & Gender.

Art Fairs
London Art Fair, Contemporary Art Projects, London, UK.
13- 18 January 2009.

Santander Art Fair, Santander, Spain. July 2008 Jeni Snell – new work represented by Galeria Fruela.

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