Jen Valender is an Australasian artist who was born in Aotearoa and is based in Naarm/Melbourne. Her practice-led research investigates methods that compress complex experiences, histories and ethical dilemmas into simple gestures through projection, moving image, sound, sculpture and performance. Grounded in the cinematic, she is inspired by wit, sincerity, material conditions, conceptual paradoxes, poetic problematics and a resolute blurring of the art/life dichotomy.
Having exhibited in galleries and public spaces locally and internationally, Jen has worked with Heide Museum of Modern Art; Ian Potter Museum of Art; Museum of Art and Culture, yapang & Multi-Arts Pavilion MAP mima, Lake Macquarie; Collingwood Yards Art Precinct; Circus Oz; Centre for Projection Art; Spier Light Art Festival, South Africa; Gertrude Street Projection Festival; Wrong Biennale No.5, Portugal/France; Centre of Visual Art (CoVA); Testing Grounds, Victoria; Melbourne Fringe Festival; Abbotsford Convent; Campbell Arcade, City of Melbourne; Metro Tunnel Art; Gasworks Arts Park; Island Island, Bus Projects; Fortyfivedownstairs Gallery; Blak Dot Gallery; KINGS Artist Run with FiX Performance Group; George Paton Gallery; and has presented conference lecture-performances at the University of Melbourne, Sydney College of Arts and University of Southern Queensland.
Jen holds a Master of Fine Arts (Research) with first class honours from the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, a Bachelor of Fine Arts with first class honours from MADA, Monash University and a Bachelor of Arts with high distinction from Victoria University of Wellington, NZ.
As an uninvited guest on First Nations territory, I acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of the land and waterways on which I have the privilege to live, research and create. Specifically, the Yalukit Willam clan of Euro-Yroke country, known as the coastal tribe of the Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nations. I pay respect to all Traditional Owners and Elders past and present.
Minor Python installation detail. Photo: Evelyn Tsitas, Heide Museum of Modern Art, 2022.