Jen-Tile-Portrait

Jennifer Mawby lives and work in Vancouver, Canada and engages the forms and concerns of painting, photography, installation and time-based media in artistic practice that embraces digital innovation in conversation with the analog. She is interested in her personal relationship with digital technology and the way that ubiquitious technology is shaping her experiences in the real world. This is expressed through the making of both tangible, material-based artworks in a traditional form (such as painting and sculpture), and virtual images and animations.

In the broader sense this personal approach to the impact of digital technology is a way of researching the influence of digital image-making on the act of contemporary painting. Jennifer believes that this influence is the most relevant marker of the "now" (the contemporary) before we are even aware of it. The "now" is our everyday and thus until we have some perspective (time or distance) on it, it appears banal. She is further attempting to grasp through her practice how our experience of the visual and as a result our visual culture is evolving literally right before our eyes.

One tactic Jennifer uses to explore the contemporary is to consicously and deliberately work first from digital image making and then reverse engineer the results, including the methods and techniques of digital image, making back into a traditional, studio-based painting practice. Many contemporary artists use digital tools for the making of studies and preparations. What differentiates Jennifer's use of these same tools is the practical focus on the similarites and differences between the digital and the analog as a cornerstone approach. This results in paintings that are planned out and developed in a way impossible prior to the advent of digital imaging.

Since 2015, Jennifer and fellow artist Emma Lehto have been engaged in dialogue through their respective studio practices and a project called "Double Negative". During this ongoing conversation the artists have respectively developed a co-informed body of work underpinned by a mutual interest in the figure, and exploring the nature of positive and negative space. Ideas about cyberspace, and remix culture underpin this work.

Her experimental film installations (using the digital animation of sequential photography) that deconstruct a narrative usually by means of individual character studies. These phenomenological narratives reveal a psychological landscape — the space that lies in between the character’s dialogue, underlying motivation, and any implied story arc. Worked through a variety of media, her projects are elliptical, allegorical portraits often appropriating gestures of commercial presentation.

"The Healing Room" experimental film is a meditation on personalized ritual, escapism, magical thinking, and obsession underpinned by structural conventions of filmmaking genres.

In her participatory public works like “Give and Take” the tacit involvement of a community of participants is required to transform the initial installation and bring the work to completion, upon which the results are photo­-documented as commercial objects and distributed in an ongoing publication. The same structured presentation of "Give & Take" arrives at a very different, yet somehow related results each time. The mass of artifacts left behind from the exchange process are the flotsam and jetsam of a temporary community of participants. The archive of remaining artifacts are then reproduced in an ongoing publication that takes the format of a luxury 'zine.

@Xxcerpt, launched at ISEA 2015 in Vancouver on Snapchat, was an exploration into the opportunistic use of social media platforms to develop an experimental narrative. It now continues on Facebook as an exploration into face-filter and social media meme driven self-portraiture (link).

Jennifer holds a Masters of Fine Art (with honours) from a practice-based program delivered jointly by OCA and University for the Creative Arts (UCA) in the U.K. She received her BA Classical Studies from the University of British Columbia, completed the Management Skills for Advanced Technology (MSAT) program at Simon Fraser University, and the Fine Art Techniques Certificate at Emily Carr University of Art and Design (in Vancouver). Mawby’s work has been published and shown in Canada, the U.S., and the U.K.