Jenni Granholm

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Jenni Granholm is a photographic artist living and working in Finland. Through her enigmatic self-portraits, her work deals with themes of femininity and restraint,entanglement and the desire for freedom coupled with the fear of it. Based on her life’s events and personal circumstances, the body plays a central role in her simple, uncomplicated compositions where the ribbon is used not only as a tether but also as a trope for harnessing the impulse to break free. The deliberate use of a soft pastel colour palette gives her images a fragile beauty and an unashamedly feminine aesthetic.

Jenni Granholm (b.1979) lives in Tampere, Finland. She began her BA Photography at the College of Fine Arts (Sydney, Australia) and undertook her final year at Aalto University (Finland). In 2010 she gained her MA Digital Arts from Camberwell College of Arts, London.

Artist’s Statement

My work is based on my own personal experiences and explores intense psychological themes. I am interested in the invisible struggles everyone faces and so I create images that are deeply emotional and reflect an inner turmoil. Much of my work is self-portraits where various parts of my body are shown but never my face. Due to the semi-autobiographical
nature of my work, I deliberately use a soft pastel colour palette to create an unashamedly feminine aesthetic and set of ideas to highlight the truth that women are already bound, living under the weight of expectations and demands.

Hush and Legacy are two long-term projects I have been working on contemporaneously. Although separate bodies of work they are intertwined. In each I deal with similar themes of restraint, entanglement and the desire for freedom coupled with the fear of it but from slightly different perspectives.

Hush deals with living a life in secrecy from which there seems to be no escape. Sorrow and longing are interspersed with glimpses of hope and desire. However, the strength to break free is missing – always being drawn back, staying hidden and so becoming stuck in your life. This decision to remain keeps you suppressed. You have been silenced, but you have also become the silence.

Legacy is about the burdens we carry that prevent us from living the life we want and from becoming who we want to be. How it is often our own fears and self-destructive patterns that stop us. We might be painfully aware of this, but do not dare to, or are not able to change. Ribbons are an important motif in both series, representing both the harnesses that hold us in place, keeping us stuck, and also the anguish we carry. It might be us keeping them, or it might be someone or something else putting them around us. Often it is both together.

Jenni Granholm
Finland (2019)