Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Looking Back | Moving Forward, ICP, Preston, 15th-24th March 2016

Over and over...jump in, digital print on wallpaper, 2016

Looking Back | Moving Forward 
In Certain Places Project Space, Preston 

Opening Tuesday 15th March 5-7pm, continues until 24th March 2016

Looking Back | Moving Forward will show new sculptures and drawings by artist Jenny Steele from her recent research project, which has investigated Seaside Moderne architecture across the North West of England and Scotland.

Seaside Moderne was a style of modernist architecture built in the 1930s between World War I and World War II, during the mid-war leisure boom.  During the 1930s, everyday workers were newly allocated annual holidays in the United Kingdom, and used these to travel to the seaside to enjoy themselves away from everyday work toils. Palaces of fun, such as the Blackpool Casino and The Midland Hotel were built to house swathes of people, offering a glamorous place to relax within uplifting and optimistic design.

Jenny Steele has created new work specifically designed for the In Certain Places Project Space, which reflects on the design of the The Midland Hotel, Morecambe, The Blackpool Opera House, The Carron Restaurant and Outdoor Swimming Pool, Stonehaven.

LOOKING BACK|MOVING FORWARD is kindly supported by Grants for the Arts, Arts Council England, University of Central Lancashire and Johnstone’s Paint.

Open Event: Tuesday 15th March 2016  5-7pm

Viewing times:
Wednesday 16th- Thursday 17th March 11-5pm
Tuesday 22nd, Wednesday 23rd & Thursday 24th March 11-5pm

Other viewing times by appointment, and for further information please email:

In Certain Places
38 St Peter's Street
University of Central Lancashire
PR1 2HE 

In Certain Places is a 15 minute walk from Preston Rail Station.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Semiotic Guerrilla Warfare Part III, Dean Clough Gallery, Halifax

Top right to centre: Works on paper by Jenny Steele, Simon Woolham, Hilde Krohn Huse and Monica Ursina Jager.

30 January - 24 April 2016
The Link Gallery
Dean Clough, Halifax, HX3 5AX

Open Daily 9am - 5pm

Dean Clough Galleries in collaboration with PAPER & CHARLIE SMITH LONDON present:
Semiotic Guerrilla Warfare (part III)

Hermione Allsopp / Jemima Brown / Andrea Cotton / Lisa Denyer / Frances Disley / Tracey Eastham / Zavier Ellis / Sarah Eyre / David Hancock / Florian Heinke / Phill Hopkins / Hilde Krohn Huse / Sam Jackson / Monica Ursina Jäger / Vincent James / Chris Jones / Simon Leahy Clark / Richard Meaghan / James Moore / Alex Gene Morrison / Narbi Price / Conor Rogers / Mitra Saboury / Jenny Steele / Pär Strömberg / Zhu Tian / Lisa Wilkens / Simon Woolham / Hannah Wooll / Rachel Wrigley / THE CULT OF RAMM:ΣLL:ZΣΣ featuring Yang Younghee

Semiotic Guerilla Warfare marks a new collaboration between CHARLIE SMITH LONDON and PAPER presented in The Link Gallery at Dean Clough. The artists assembled create artwork from any materials that come to hand; creating a theoretical collage of themes: linguistics, text, the city, psychogeography, found images, appropriation, youth / underground culture, networks, cults / rituals. Exploring popular culture in an attempt to de-value the art object and elevate everyday objects. Semiotic Guerrilla Warfare presents found objects, mass-produced materials, and a lo-fi aesthetics to create a new visual language that comments upon the disposable nature of our culture and society.

The purchase of commodities can be seen to offer a sense of freedom and an escape. By manipulating and appropriating high street fashions youth subcultures create a unique identity and transform themselves into street art. These concepts might be equally applied to artists, who use appropriation in their art to subvert the meaning of the subjects that they transform. This creative use of commodities is exploited for the purpose of resistance, altering the meaning of a chosen mass produced object through the concept of bricolage. This cultural appropriation or theft and transformation of a commodity highlights each of these artists as conspicuous consumers. Dick Hebdige, the subcultural theorist, quoting Umberto Eco, describes these subversive practices as “semiotic guerrilla warfare”; raiding the dominant culture for their trophies. These commodities are desired simply because they are status symbols of the privileged. They are essentially “empty fetishes”, desired and appropriated from those that are their antithesis. These artists essentially adopt the lifestyles they appropriate, employing their visual language to subvert the meaning of the very images they incorporate into their work.

The exhibition contains individual works from internationally renowned artists such as Chris Jones, Jemima Brown, Florian Heinke, Phill Hopkins, and John Moore’s prizewinner, Narbi Price. Alongside these, there is a series of portraits of Black Metal Girls by Swedish artist, Pär Strömberg. These young women, mainly girls from catholic backgrounds, use the machoistic iconography of Black Metal to make a statement; claiming the subculture as their own. In portraying their ‘selfies’ in Watercolour, Strömberg hopes to evaluate their status within the tropes of Romanticism. The avant-garde cyber Hip Hop performance art group, The Cult of RAMM:ΣLL:ZΣΣ, present , a residue recording the Cults’ live street performance rituals. Alongside these, will be a new series of intricate sculptural works by Tracey Eastham. Presented in bell jars, Eastham cuts exquisite detail in suspended fine gold paper.

The Settlers, Screen-print on Fabriano, 2014

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Finding Treblinka, Museum of Struggle and Martyrdom, Treblinka, Poland

Arm (C)hair, 2015. Reupholstered 1940's armchair, digitally printed canvas, upholstery pins. 90cm x 80cm x 85cm.

I am very pleased to be showing a newly commissioned work 'Arm (C)hair' as part of 'Finding Treblinka', opening on the 2nd August 2015, and running until October 2015 at the Museum of Martyrdom and Struggle in Treblinka, Poland.

The work was commissioned alongside works by artists Hilary Jack, Dave Griffiths, Janine Goldsworthy and Michael Branthwaite to respond to the research of the Forensic Archaaeologist Caroline Sturdy Colls, who is also Professor in Forensic Archaeology and Genocide Investigation at Staffordshire University.  The project and exhibition is supported by Staffordshire University and The Rothschild Foundation.

Arm (C)hair refers to the barbaric process of hair removal of all entrants to extermination camps, and how the hair was then used as a commodity for stuffing furniture and mattresses and making textiles. The hand drawn pattern printed onto the fabric depicts drawings of the hair combs found through archaeological research at Treblinka, which were owned by people who lost their lives in the camp. The fabric has been reupholstered onto an original 1940's European Armchair.

You can read more about the exhibition, alongside an exhibition of the seven year research project into the Treblinka site, on the Centre for Archaeology at Staffordshire University blog here.

Finding Treblinka
Museum of Struggle and Martyrdom in Treblinka
08-330 Kosow Lacki

Open daily 9am -7pm.

2nd August 2015 until October 2015.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Open studio for Manifest Festival, Rogue, 10th-12th July 2015

I am looking forward to opening my studio at Rogue in a few weeks, as part of Manifest, an artist-led festival, showcasing the talent of North West contemporary artists in a series of exhibitions and events across Manchester and Salford.
Designed to take advantage of the increased creative and media spotlight on the city as a result of the Manchester International Festival, Manifest will give visitors a flavour of some of the artistic activity taking place across the two cities all year round.
Rogue will be holding an additional Open Studios event over the weekend of July 10th – 12th. The opening party will be on Friday July 10th from 6 till 9pm and the studios will be open to the public from 12 – 5pm on Saturday July 11th and Sunday July 12th.

I will be showing some research in progress from my Looking Back|Moving Forward project and drawings from my solo project The Fair at Glasgow Open House Art Festival.

Hope you can make it! 

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Hannah Festival Directory 2015

I am delighted to be featured in the 2015 Hannah Directory, which features the best of exciting and interesting people and organisations in the North of England, and asks how can more of this happen.

The directory is organised and delivered by hand by Andrew Wilson, and is named after the suffragette Hannah Mitchell.

If you'd like a copy of the lovely 2015-16 Hannah Directory you should be able to pick one up at these places in England's north, and in Finland:

Friday, 24 April 2015

The Fair, a multi-site solo project for Glasgow Open House Art Festival, 2nd-4th May 2015

The Fair #6, Screen print and pencil on card, 10.5cm x 40.1cm, 2015
The Fair #7, Screen print and pencil on card, 10.5cm x 40.1cm, 2015

The Fair is a long established Glaswegian holiday taking place in the last fortnight of July.  Businesses and organisations closed; families travelled ‘doon the water’ to Lancashire seaside resorts of Blackpool and Morecambe, which acted as sites of enjoyment and glamour from everyday work. ‘The Fair’ is a multi-site exhibition across five artist’s homes, where artist Jenny Steele has created drawings reflecting on ‘seaside moderne’ buildings; Blackpool Casino and Midland Hotel, Morecambe.  Souvenir drawings were posted to inhabitants, allowing them to decide how to position the drawing in their own home.  A publication of the project will be produced post festival.

Opening times: Sat 2nd – Mon 4th May 2015 12pm – 6pm

Venue 9, 3/2 Montague Projects, 34 Montague St, Glasgow, UK, G4 9HX
Venue 31, 6F Claythorn Park, Glasgow, G40 2HY (Sun 3rd May 3 – 4.30pm only)
Venue 39, 62 Nith Street, Riddrie, Glasgow, G33 2AF 
Venue 55, Flat 0/1, 54 Carnarvon Street, G3 6HP, Glasgow
Venue 56, 2/2, 78 Kingarth Street, Glasgow, G42 7RW

For more information & maps for Glasgow Open House Art Festival 2015:
For more details on The Fair:

The Fair is part of a year-long project LOOKING BACK| MOVING FORWARDS by artist Jenny Steele researching into seaside moderne architecture in North West England and Scotland ( The project is supported by Grants for the Arts, Arts Council England.

For more information, please contact the artist Jenny Steele via email: or mobile: 07870701339.

Monday, 13 April 2015


I am delighted to announce that I have been awarded Grants for the Arts, Arts Council England funding for a 14 month research and development project LOOKING BACK| MOVING FORWARDS.  

During 2015, I will undertake a period of research visiting selected examples of Seaside Moderne architecture in North England and Scotland, and also explore archived drawings and photographs of the visited buildings in the RIBA archive.   Concurrently, I  will research into examples of modernist interior design by Marion Dorn, Marian Mahler, Gunta Stolzl and Lucienne Day within the archives of the Whitworth Museum and Art Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

From this visual research, I will create a series of new drawing, print and sculptural based works in 2015-2016, to be exhibited in three exhibitions in the North West of England and Scotland in 2015 – Spring 2016.

You can follow the project on the research blog:

I am also so very grateful to Blackpool Council and UcLan for supporting this project.

If you would like more information on the project, to collaborate or be involved, please contact me by email -

Blackpool Casino and Pleasure Beach, 2015. Photo: Jenny Steele