Jay Younger’s recent work employs a photographic process using smoke and mirrors, a concept based on the magician’s practice of distracting an audience with reflections and a burst of smoke. Demagogues and Megalomaniacs introduces appropriated news images of high-profile and ‘notorious’ politicians, both here and abroad, to reveal their deceptive agendas.
Jay Younger is an artist and curator and is currently Professor and Convenor of Engagement at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University. Generally Jay’s artworks take form as photomedia, public art and installation with the purpose of interrogating notions of democracy and public space that is informed by a feminist perspective. For Jay it is important to emphasise the role of art within the public sphere. Art that appears in the public realm and activates public space, is not only political it makes space public thereby linking freedom of artistic expression to democratic principles. Furthermore, art can be seen as opening up a space within the public sphere where difference can be seen and experienced.
As an emerging artist Jay was one of a group of young artists in pre–Fitzgerald Queensland, dedicated to creating visual arts infrastructure in Brisbane that attempted to dam the constant drain southward of Queensland’s artistic and cultural lifeblood. Organisations established and managed by this group were The Artworkers’ Alliance, Eyeline Magazine, and various artist run spaces including That Contemporary Artspace.
Jay’s work has been exhibited extensively both in Australia and overseas. Her work has been included in national survey exhibitions at the major state galleries and her exclusively photographic works are represented in major public collections throughout Australia including The Australian National Gallery, The Queensland Art Gallery and The Art Gallery of South Australia, and Artbank. Overseas her work has been included in significant exhibitions in Seoul, Berlin, Leicester, Singapore, Venice, Treviso, NYC, Manila, Hanoi, Beijing, Wuhan, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chiang Mai and Philadelphia. She has undertaken residencies in NYC (Oz Co funded), Italian Studio (Oz Co funded), Manila Studio (Oz Co funded), SSamzie Space Residency Seoul, and Chiang Mai University Studio Thailand.
Within Australia, Jay’s site-specific installation and photographic artworks have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions within the contemporary artspace network including The Institute of Modern Art, Artspace, The Australian Centre for Photography, The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Canberra Contemporary Art Space, and the Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia etc. Her work has been reviewed in Australian contemporary art journals such as Photofile, Eyeline, Real Time, and Art and Australia. In 2011 Jay’s earlier and later photographic artworks were included in Look! Contemporary Australian Photography since 1980 written by prominent Australian academic Anne Marsh. Jay’s artistic practice has been awarded in numerous ways throughout her career, the most significant being the Arts Queensland Creative Fellowship ($30,000) and the AIA Presidents Award which sites that her “contribution within the field of public art as an artist curator has provided exemplary best practice models and outcomes, the calibre of which is unmatched”.