A Colourful X
Works by Stencil Artist
Jenna Yona Bloom
01 – 28 April 2015
Jenna YoNa Bloom
(b.1984 Johannesburg South Africa, emigrated to Sydney, Australia 1987).
Jenna is a self-taught spray paint, stencil artist from Woolloomooloo, in Sydney Australia. In 1987, when Jenna and her family arrived in Australia, they found themselves living in the very heart of Sydney’s infamous Kings Cross. Perhaps that’s when – and where – Jenna’s strong connection with community, and her penchant for spotlighting social issues, had it’s roots.
In 2002, and now 17, Jenna was working her way towards a Diploma in Community Services. She found herself placed as a volunteer at The Wayside Chapel. With in-between years spent living at St. Ives on Sydney’s North Shore, it was her first time back to the Cross since the age of three. Following her placement, she continued to volunteer at Wayside for another four years. As she says, “ I was always drawn to the Cross.”
As a youth worker, Jenna was responsible for co-ordinating mural projects with young artists: “That’s when I first picked up a spray can.” She was following the lead of artists who sprayed silhouettes from stencils they made themselves. “It was the first time I’d ever seen a stencil used to make art.”
With an attraction to the area that’s never left, Jenna decided it was time to move here. That was five years ago. Since then, “I’ve found my creative voice, and been exhibiting as an artist since 2011.”
A two-time winner of The Oxford Art Prize in 2012 and 2013, Jenna has a strong passion for social issues, She’s known for her exploration of, and social commentary on, topical issues. In late 2014 she gave our Australian politicians and business leaders a serve in her show, Pollie Cracker. With Jenna’s work resonating so strongly with local audiences, it was no surprise to see her as a finalist in the International Stencil Art Prize in 2014 . Most recently she placed as one of the audience favourites in the Freedom Art Prize 2015.
For Jenna, there’s nothing better than living in Kings Cross and working for the City of Sydney as a community worker. While she considers herself a relatively new stencil artist, at this rate, she won’t be new for much longer, but rather sought after — much like the work in this exhibition. Jenna Bloom has the unique ability to capture, and stencilise, the essence of the individuals she takes the time to meet.
GKJE Gallery 1
226 Victoria St.
Sydney – Australia
Open Daily 8am – 8pm