Jenny Blake

  • Jenny Blake, 'Threads', Shop Art Project, Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail at Tumbarumba. Photo Robert van der Male
  • Jenny Blake, 'Threads', Shop Art Project, Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail at Tumbarumba. Photo Robert van der Male
  • Jenny Blake, 'Threads', Shop Art Project, Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail at Tumbarumba. Photo Robert van der Male

Jenny Blake

Place of Residence: Courabyra and Sandigo, NSW


Location: 30a The Parade, Tumbarumba. Located down the walkway adjacent to the Tumbarumba Hotel.

Statement:  Free fall, a loss of control. Bottomless disconnection. The experience of trauma is diverse.

In this area, around 100 homes were lost to the Dunns Road bushfire. 100 figures hang in a void but remain suspended, united and sustained by connecting ‘Threads’. Some taunt, strong, indispensable. Some lenient and relaxed, a contingency as required. Strands of reassurance, encouragement and connectivity. Bonds, coping mechanisms, threading through the community, suspending.

‘Threads’ is a validation of what was lost, an acknowledgment of what has changed, a reminder that trauma lives unseen. Its weight held up by those around us in this altered landscape. A prompt to remain connected. Keep close.

The towering, majestic Sugar Pine Walk was a sanctuary from childhood. A place of content, calm and still. Here, a final nod to their magnificence. It has unfortunately been decided they will not be reinstated on their original inclining site. The natural fall of the land, the principal element intensifying their stature, their presence. Forming a natural cathedral. A new stand of pines will grow elsewhere, will they be the same?

With each altering incident, change is inevitable. Seeking positives, however miniscule, is challenging. We now search for new sanctuaries. Dynamics and connections adjust.

New relationships have grown, some bonds have been reinstated, reinforced, some amended, some have slipped from our grip. To those that have lost, connections are mercurial, seek what sustains you. To those that have not – It is the slightest of gestures that can make the greatest of difference. Be prompted to cast out threads and “hold up” this wonderful, healing little community in whatever way you can…

Biography: Jenny Blake grew up on a cattle property at Courabyra, north of Tumbarumba.

After studying a Bachelor of Arts (Visual and Design) at the University of Newcastle and a Diploma of Computer Art at Högskolan i Skövde, Sweden, she began work with art and design in Sydney. After several years she moved to Singapore to work with design and then moved on to work in Norway with art and design whilst intermittently returning and working on the family farm.

On return to the farm in Australia she practiced art whilst studying a Diploma of Education (Visual Arts and Design/Technology) at Charles Sturt University. She later lectured and taught at the university in design and illustration whilst also working on the farm at Courabyra and several other cattle stations in the Tooma Valley and Northern Territory.

Jenny has held several successful solo exhibitions in Wagga Wagga at both the Links and E3 Art Space and has previously exhibited with the Sara Roney Gallery and The Harrison Galleries in Paddington, Sydney. She presently assists with the operations on three family farms and practices art in various forms.

Materials used: Clay, cotton and nylon thread, florist’s foam, foil, wire, steel rod, found objects, photographic prints, charcoal and cold press paper.

This Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Program is jointly funded by the Commonwealth and the New South Wales Government under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.