“a beautiful conflation of Japanese minimalism and western abstraction” Neil Cameron The Scotsman
Jenny Smith is a contemporary artist who has recently moved to the Isle of Lewis from Edinburgh. Her work investigates the relationship between process and concept, within the context of memory and place. Jenny’s work often invites us to question our definition of drawing. She draws (and writes), using meditative, embodied, hand rendered processes that are aligned to her connection with the landscape she lives and works in.
Between 2011 and 2018 Jenny’s work was developed into unique large scale drawings or limited edition prints, often incorporating the digital medium of laser cutting and etching, some pieces being created collaboratively with groups in the community. These socially engaged, site-specific work are derived from people’s hand written answers to the title question, which are then laser cut into paper, or other materials such as acrylic or the landscape. Jenny works with groups in the community to create unique collective artworks, in which each individual makes a very tangible and identifiable contribution; their original handwriting being laser cut into the fabric of the artwork created. This work explores writing as a form of drawing and often incorporates the use of social media and new technology within the creative process, alongside more traditional methods of drawing and mark making. Work can be commissioned on a large scale for specific spaces or created as signed, limited edition prints, framed for the domestic or corporate environment. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss a commission for your company, organisation or home.
In 2018 Jenny began to take inspiration form the natural world. Between 2018-2020 she created a series of limited edition laser engraved prints Medicinal Nature, inspired by everyday plants and shrubs which are believed to have medicinal qualities. The prints have a delicate, sepia, victorian quality, despite being created with the new technology of laser cutting.
During Lockdown in 2020, inspired by her daily walks to Portobello beach, Jenny returned to painting landscape, the west coast landscape having been her inspiration in the very early years of her career. She is currently developing a new body of work in response to her experience of living and working on the Isle of Lewis and participated in Open Studios Hebredies in July/August 2023.
Jenny also creates artist books and films. Her work is available for commission and exhibited and sold through a number of Galleries in the UK. Exhibiting nationally and internationally, Jenny has won numerous Awards (including the Royal Scottish Academy Award for Painting and Friends of the Royal Scottish Academy Artists Bursary). Her work is held in public and private collections, including acquisitions of her artist books by The Tate and National Galleries of Scotland. She has been a recipient of a Scottish Arts Council Creative Research and Development Award and has been shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize. Jenny is listed in the 34th edition of Who’s Who in Art.
Jenny has experience in the educational sector, including delivering Continual Professional Development courses for artists and teachers, mentoring Creative Practioners and working as a Visting Lecturer at a number of Art Colleges and Universities and on Gallery Education Programes, including the National Galleries of Scotland and the Traveling Gallery. She is currently taking break from teaching in order to develop her well-being practice.
You can purchase Jenny’s work throughout the year from a number of Galleries. Please email if you would like to know where she is currently exhibiting.