Approved: 19.05.2017

Jessica Harby

Artist

Approved: 19.05.2017

Until I left America my “Americanness” never really occurred to me. If I had any geographical identity it was smaller scale, more specific. I was working-class Midwestern. I was a Chicagoan. Moving to the middle of England eight years ago made all those distinctions moot. Everything about me was now macro. I was an American. I was emblematic. I was a walking information kiosk, a flag. Working through these questions of personal identity, amid cultural dissonance and acute political tension is the key factor informing my current work.

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Biography

Until I left America my “Americanness” never really occurred to me. If I had any geographical identity it was smaller scale, more specific. I was working-class Midwestern. I was a Chicagoan. Moving to the middle of England eight years ago made all those distinctions moot. Everything about me was now macro. I was an American. I was emblematic. I was a walking information kiosk, a flag. Working through these questions of personal identity, amid cultural dissonance and acute political tension is the key factor informing my current work.

This focus on the malleability and volatility of identity has been a constant in my work. But I often approach large, daunting subjects with a lens of dark humour. This tendancy towards and affection for the absurd has served me well as I've transitioned from a whimsical, drawing-based practice to a fully multimedia exploration of politics and anxiety in our current shared history.

CV & Education

Education
Bachelor of Fine Arts, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Solo Exhibitions
2016 - YOUR RELUCTANT DIPLOMAT, NN Contemporary Art Project Space, Northampton, UK.
2012 - Pretty Girls Doing Horrid Things, The Artist’s Sanctuary, Northampton, UK.

Group Exhibitions
2017
IT'S GONNA BE GREAT, Copeland Gallery, Peckham, UK.
Film Free & Easy: No Laughing Matter, Primary, Nottingham, UK.
Nasty Women, ArtSpace, Cambridge, UK.
Can You Hear Me?, Fermynwoods Contemporary Art, fermynwoods.co.uk.
Five Years Season, NN Contemporary Art, Northampton, UK. [scheduled]

2016
LEAVE//REMAIN, Bank Street Arts, Sheffield, UK.
Open Exhibition, City Gallery, Peterborough, UK.

2015
NN Open, NN Contemporary Art, Northampton, UK.
Residual. Transference. Metamorphosis. Condition. Body. Self. Gallery 202, gallery202.co.uk

2014
Why Do We Do This, NN Contemporary Art Project Space, Northampton, UK.

2012
Guests & Hosts, NN Contemporary Art, Northampton, UK.
Houston Fringe Festival, Frenetic Theater, Houston, TX, USA.

Residencies
August 2017 - Bank Street Arts, Sheffield, UK. [scheduled]
October 2017 - Caravanserai at Cambridge Artworks, Cambridge, UK. [scheduled]

Collections
NN Contemporary Art, Northampton, UK.
National Roller Derby Museum, Glasgow, UK.
Private collections in the UK and USA.

Other Work
Fermynwoods Contemporary Art: Associate Educator leading creative activities for young people excluded from traditional education (2017-present).
Document: One of six artists chosen by Contemporary Visual Arts Network East Midlands to represent visual arts practice in the region (2016-present).
Tappa Tappa Tappa: Zine project in collaboration with Amy Pettifer (2012-present).
Voices of the Fire: Arts project for young people excluded from traditional education, through Northamptonshire County Council (2013-14).
Northampton Youth Arts Collective: Associate artist (2013).
Rookiemag.com: Illustration (2011-12).