Skylines: A survey of work 2001-2016

Jen Southern
Queens Hall, Hexham
Curated by Dominic Smith

Review by David Pritchard in Corridor8

Gallery text:

Jen Southern is an artist who works with people to explore mobility on the ground, in the air, and at a distance.

This collection of her individual and collaborative work spanning back to 2001 examines the meanings of everyday technologies in our lives, including video games, sat nav, aerial photography and mobile phone apps.

The starting point for all of Jen’s works is to travel with someone or something. She then captures tracks and traces of these journeys and transforms them into images, objects and installations that explore what it means to be mobile in specific situations.


Skylines was a great opportunity to bring together works around mobilities from the past 15 years. In order to do this we decided to not involve the kinds of complex technical and audience interactions that I would usually. The works are all artefacts that exist after the original commissions, installations or events, and do not require complex interactive technologies or facilitation to be exhibited. It is the first time in my career that I have had works framed to hang on a wall! In bringing together the artefacts produced during several different collaborative partnerships it is possible to see the connections between diverse parts of my practice, and the way that mobility, interaction, people and place are treated differently in each work.

The labelling for the exhibition included images and details of the interactions and movements involved in making the works. The participation, collaboration, or liveness of the original works is included as part of its material description (see bottom of page).

Image © Colin Davison Image © Colin Davison
Running Stitch (2007) [Image © Colin Davison]
Running Stitch (2007) [Image © Dominic Smith]
Running Stitch (2007) [Image © Colin Davison]   Running Stitch: Umea (2009) [Image © Colin Davison]
  Aviatrix (2016) Commissioned for Skylines. [Image © Colin Davison]     Installation shot including Aviatrix, Searcher and Roam. [Image © Colin Davison]
Roam Wear (2001) & Roam (2003) [Images © Colin Davison]
Roam (2003) [Image © Colin Davison]
Cyanotypes (2007) [Image © Colin Davison]   Cyanotypes (2007) [Image © Dominic Smith]
Kite Drawings (2007) [Image © Colin Davison]   Floating Points (2010) Hamilton, Southern & St Amand [Image © Colin Davison]
Unruly Pitch (2015) [Image © Colin Davison]   Moving Mountains (2016) [Image © Dominic Smith]
Shared Distance (2013) Searcher (2015) Here (2010)  [Images © Colin Davison]