Jenna Burchell (b.1985) is an anti-disciplinary South African artist who attained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, 2007.
Burchell’s practice emanates from her desire to activate otherwise banal spaces and create immersive sensory experiences. Her methodology transpires into interactive sculptures, large scale installations and performance and body art that present transient moments of exchange between unpredictable human interactions, meticulous technological innovation and art.
“I believe it is through the connection of these elements that we can inspire the future of human experience."
Often taking on a biomimetic aesthetic, executed with the minimalism of the Bauhaus philosophy (function before form); motion sensored light wetlands and touch sensitive audial copper forests, Burchell’s works draw into question the familiar and unfamiliar.
Her process involves and connects communities, places and countries around the world. Stemming from her personal experience of living in a diasporic family, her work revolves around notions of home, memory, land and cultural belonging. The environments created invite the spectator to further examine these notions and the technological means through which relations are formed and maintained in our zeitgeist.
“The growing spaces between people and families as a result of migrant labor have come to define the human experience of globalization. We attempt to fill these between-spaces with telecommunications technologies, social networks, and long transportation to countries we do not yet call home.”
Burchell has been the recipient of the Thami Mnyele Fine Arts Award (2011), Arteles Art Residency in Finland (2012), Ithuba Arts Fund (2013) and the Soundlands Public Art Commission in Bangor, Wales (2015) . She has had travelling solo exhibitions, exhibited in international institutions such the Smithsonian National Museum, and in art fairs such as Art15 London and the FNB Joburg art fair. Burchell is represented in the University of South Africa (UNISA) Art Collection as well as private and corporate collections.