Jennyanne Smith West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Jennyanne is an autoethnographic artist. Her work is an exploration of the human condition, she creates using plaster, clay and metal and also poetry and performance monologue. Themes within her work have included aspiration, emotionality, conflict, relationships and love, the meaning of life, perceptions of the self, mortality, mental health, trauma, personal growth and experiences in education.
Jennyanne’s work has been described as ‘an exploration of the human condition’. It is autoethnographic in nature and ponders, questions and analyses ‘life’ from many perspectives but mainly her own ever-changing lens. Religion, philosophy, personal history, literature, anthropology, psychology and spirituality all inform her practice which has covered all manner of characteristics, events and situations that have composed the essentials of her human existence thus far.
Themes within her work have included – Aspiration, Emotionality and Conflict (Fairy Tale, 2003), Growth and Aspiration (Love, Lust and Pain, 2006, The I AM Story 2010), Relationships and Love (This Cuckoo Thing, 2007, Tell Me Something About Your First Love 2008-2011), The meaning of Life (Unanswerable Questions, 2006-2008), Perceptions of the Self (Mirror Mirror 2005 and An Intimate Distance, 2008), Mortality and Mental Health (The Tale of Annie Get Your Gun, 2010, A Life Lived Through Lillies 2012), Personal Growth (Mandala, 2018) and Education (An elegy aimed at the arrogant, 2012 & 2018, Reclaiming my Red). Rape and trauma (Reclaiming my Red, 2018)
Jennyanne is a mixed media fine artist whose practice mixes traditional sculptural methods with performance and spoken word. She identifies as an intersectional feminist and acknowledges how sometimes the themes within her work can be difficult and sensitive themes to work with but that they need to be made as they encourage conversations and illicit empathy and new understandings.
Jennyanne lived with undiagnosed Bipolar Disorder for 22 years. It was diagnosed in 2018 and since accepting her diagnosis she has once again returned to her practice. For many years her depression made her feel inadequate and like she was not a 'real' artist - so she focussed her efforts more on participation and encouraging others to take part in creating art. Jennyanne's practice is one of a very personal nature - for many years she felt unable to use her own voice so instead facilitated learning through providing empathy and compassion and espousing the health benefits of simply 'having a go'. Now she is ready to get back to her practice and to use her voice to talk about the things she wishes to talk about through her art .
She is currently working on two projects - the 1000 Arms of Avoloketishvara - highlighting how bipolar disorder affects peoples lives and her 'Coming out' story.