Jenny Kendler

Jenny Kendler’s work revolves around human beings’ relationship with nature and the natural world — focusing on human sexuality and gender as it relates to our often denied animal origins, and environmental issues such as habitat loss, climate change, and the complexity of ecosystems. All of the profits from the sale of her works are donated to environmental charities.

Exploring and attempting to bridge the widening schism between Nature and Culture, Kendler’s work considers human beings’ estranged relationship with the ecosystems we and other species must share. Her delicate drawings and tiny sculptural terrariums show people in intimate physical relation to the environment, directly confronting that erroneous notion that we human beings are somehow separate from and above the natural world. Kendler’s subjects empower themselves through their ability to accept and dissolve into nature, growing plants from their bodies, adopting manes in unlikely places, or “giving birth” to streams of tiny fish. Human beings become the animals they always were. Extinct and endangered species stand as totems of our disconnect with the natural world and sign-posts of loss.

In her body of work, Kendler re-invents the Naturalist of the past through the lens of modern ecology, feminism and environmentalism. If the Naturalists of the 18th and 19th centuries sought to lay personal claim to the natural world and contain it in a specimen cabinet, Kendler presents her intimate drawings and sculptures as a definitive counterpoint to the view of nature as something to be possessed. She suggests instead, that it is we who are possessed by nature.

While cross-pollinating genres: drawing, installation, sculpture, photography, video, and narrative fiction, Kendler creates works that draw us nearer to nature — intellectually and emotionally — to rekindle feelings of interconnectedness, wonderment and love. She employs the language of myth magic and fantasy, and uses delicacy, fragility, ornamentation and intricacy, to echo the subtle and mysterious relationships of the natural world. In this way, her work stands in opposition to spectacle culture, irony, indifference, and the will to failure.

Kendler believes that art has a vital role to play in our most desperate crisis between Nature and Culture, lest one destroy the other. Through her work these questions are raised: How has our environment shaped us? How should we shape our environment? And how can we shape a future that will protect and serve not only our own species, but our many beautiful and fascinating neighbors?

Presenting moments of ecological crisis or wonder, Kendler hands us this tenuous thread to the natural world — shadowing forth possibilities of ecological attunement and resolution.

Kendler is one of the founders of the Endangered Species Print Project and writes an insightful blogs called “environmentalartblog” and “”

Artist’s page:

Comments are closed.