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Jenna Gribbon - Framing the world through our phone screens.

Updated: Oct 22, 2021


Remote control, 2021. Oil on linen



I think that I spend so much time looking at my own intimate life through a camera lens that at first I didn't quite understand why some of Jenna Gribbon's compositions were eerily familiar and intoxicating.

I don't share that much of my private life online, yet I am endlessly filling up my phone's memory with photographs of my partner, new outfits, my pets, places I've gone, just normal stuff right?

I've questioned these habits and wondered what this means to collect but never use. Am I collecting them for myself? Because they'll never be printed out into a photo album. So, I'm obsessed with collecting moments, Yet, I struggle to be in the moment as it is happening and look back through my camera roll in a voyeuristic way and become nostalgic for my own life that I wasn't present for. Until I look into someone else's endless camera roll I think its just me, but it's not. It's easy to blame social media for being a reason why we experience so much of our lives through our phone cameras but I think it's more than that. In my case it's become the way I frame my world, and even though I like to think of myself as a bit of a technophobe I transfer my life into a digital world in order to keep it safe from disappearing from memory.


When I looked at you the light changed, 2019. Oil on linen


I think that what drew me to Jenna Gribbon's work were these renditions of phone camera photos that aren't posed and planned for sharing but feel like a private collection. They show HER gaze, and the paintings of her girlfriend in super intimate moments particularly highlight this. I often reference from photos on my phone and felt I was being somewhat untrue to the analogue nature of painting and drawing when my images were being filtered from real life through a phone and then back into reality again in the form of a painting. But perhaps Jenna Gribbon's work has given me a bit of comfort, I can really relate to them.

In addition to the compositions, I appreciate the way she humbly advocates for non-fetishized portrayals of lesbian intimacy and romance.


An interesting article on Jenna Gribbon's approach to using phone images, the sexualised gaze and portrayals of intimacy.



Jenna Gribbon, M with a Tattoo Bandage (2020).

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References:

Dafoe, Taylor. "‘I Love Trying to Make the Viewer Self-Conscious’: How Rising Star Jenna Gribbon Paints the Feelings of Seeing and Being Seen." Artnet News (31/08/2020 2020).https://news.artnet.com/art-world/jenna-gribbon-seeing-being-seen-1904977

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