Jeni McConnell’s creative practice has four key components; people, place, objects and archives, which are brought to life by the social connections between them. She is hooked in by the passions that people have to place and intrigued by how that manifests itself through memory, triggered by images and objects using all our senses. People are imperative to her work; her need to engage, hear them talk, write and respond. Her practice is socially engaged and process oriented.
McConnell is intrigued by how we develop our sense of who we are by the space around us, how our childhood home, full of meaning and intimate experience can shape who we become as adults and affect how we inhabit and recall our world, which she continues to question through her work.
Her approach is strongly research-based and often takes her to museums, archives and libraries, delving into history books and old maps, visualising through the geological layers to the surface and the human history above. She is an organiser, often categorising and ordering as part of her creative output, which can take forms such as conversation, performance, intervention and installation. She also makes artists’ books and constructs new archives, which respond to a specific place.
Fort Walney Uncovered, 2014, Art Gene Artist in Residence exploring World War I archaeology, Walney Island.
Stonepaperwater and us, 2013, installation and performance with Kerry Morrison using Thames River water, stones, dissolving paper and personal stories, London, photo by Kerry Morrison.