Photo: Jessie Brennan in London

Jessie Brennan

Artist, Lecturer / academic

Jessie Brennan's practice lies between drawing and participation, informed by the social history of places, and by a direct engagement with the individuals who occupy them. Central to her work is the exchange of local knowledge and personal experiences, memories, folklore and myths between herself and the people within a particular place, situation or context. The information gathered from these exchanges and the process of exchange itself is playfully articulated in meticulously detailed pencil drawings and performances captured in video. Brennan's video installations investigate interactions between individuals looking and being looked at, while the pencil drawings unravel imaginary landscapes assembled from personal information shared between the individuals and the artist. The changing scales interwoven into the fabric of the drawings create a fictionalized space in which incongruous perceptions of time and place coexist. Brennan swaps between a socially active period of gathering research to the private space of the studio where an intimacy between maker and object is formed. The work resonates with the personal memories, anecdotes and stories that inspired it. In the video installations the intimacy is repeated in the process of their making but in a public space. Recorded in a series of video portraits cropped closely to the face or eyes strangers are invited to draw each other's portrait. They engage in a prolonged moment of eye contact and a concentrated, vulnerable and at times awkward process of reciprocated trust resulting from the drawing process. Brennan is interested in the critical framework of drawing and participation as a tool to conceptualize and imagine these experiences. read full statement

Location London
Activities Higher education, Practice-based research, Residencies, Learning projects / programmes, Participatory projects
Artforms Drawing, Film & Video, Participatory, Performance, Printmaking

News & Events

  • Adrift on Life's Tides

    18/10/2013 – 04/01/2014
    Rochester Art Gallery

    A solo exhibition of drawing, video and installation by the London-based artist Jessie Brennan featuring newly commissioned work by Medway Council.

    Find out more

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