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A top down photo of a harpist in the middle of a field of canola flowers

Artist as Animal by Jen Valender




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Getting There

Artist as Animal  sees the artist, Jen Valender, endure an allergen performance across a sea of pollenated, waterlogged, canola fields while wearing high heels and carrying a harp.

Artist as Animal seeks to generate new understandings of farm work and cultural experiences of the landscape by inviting the viewer to consider how the art experience, in its intentionality, communicates both the material conditions of its own making and those of the world it exists within.

Developed during an Art + Ecology Residency hosted by the Centre of Visual Art (CoVA) at the University of Melbourne’s Agricultural College in regional Victoria, this work is inspired by Valender’s experience of the sights, sounds, stories, and serendipitous encounters with residents of all species at the campus.

Duration: 8 minutes

About Jen Valender

Jen Valender is an Aotearoa New Zealand-born, Naarm Melbourne-based, multidisciplinary artist who creates performative encounters on and with the landscape that raise questions about the relationship between art and the natural world. Through moving image, she explores the ways in which art may be used as a navigational tool to investigate human and nonhuman connections.

Valender has exhibited widely in galleries, museums and public spaces in Australia, France, Germany, South Africa, and Portugal. She holds a Master of Fine Arts (Research) from the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne and is an ongoing ACMI X resident artist at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.

Artist as Animal DP: Gene Alberts
Artist as Animal colourist: Ted Deacey