Broken Chord: An exhibition by Jen Valender

Jen Valender Broken Chord

Since mid-August Multi-Arts Pavilion mima Artist in Residence Jen Valender has been on site exploring ways to turn complex ecological experiences and histories into experimental sound, sculpture and film. 

The Aotearoa born, Naarm Melbourne-based artist works with moving image and performance to express her interest in ethics and coexistence.

Jen Valender_MAP mima AiR_ working in the Cube 2_KWilliamsPhotog.jpg

Using footage from the areas of the Blue Mountains damaged in the 2019 fires, she has created a new immersive digital work for MAP mima’s 360-degree projection space, the Cube. Taking inspiration from the building and working with the opportunities it presents, she has also produced a video work for the Node, soundscapes for the North Wall and small sculptural pieces for the Discovery Ports.

"The Blue Mountains are the subject for this series of work I have created for MAP mima. About 80% of the forest in that area was lost during the 2019 fires, which is obviously incredibly devastating, but it is also the forest cleansing itself, in a way. Several tree species need fire to regenerate, so it’s sort of a natural cycle. The process of re-visiting the area through the digital experience is also a form of bringing it back to life – I am really interested in how these two facets fold together. Taking and turning them into something new with music, performance and moving image in a new space is really exciting."
- Jen Valender

In musical theory, a broken chord is where a chord is deconstructed into notes played separately. This idea of brokenness, layering and restoration resonates throughout the suite of works in this exhibition.

Valendar has created a soundscape that relates to Awaba _ Salt Water Lake, an artwork by Claire Lavis and Kira Jovanovski, which features an Acknowledgement of Country in Morse code built into the brickwork of the North Wall of MAP mima.

"I have taken the brickwork pattern of Awaba _ Salt Water Lake and turned it into a musical score. The soundscape I have composed is a translation between languages – the mix of English and Awabakal in the Acknowledgement of Country, the visual language of the Morse code in the brickwork, and then the music as well."

Valender has a growing national and international profile, and has exhibited in galleries and public spaces in Australia, France, South Africa and Portugal. She holds an MFA (Research) with first class honours from the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. 

Work created through her residency at MAP mima has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body. The project was carbon offset through contributions to Greenfleet, a not-for-profit environmental organisation committed to protecting our climate by restoring our forests. 

Broken Chord opens on Friday 2 September and continues until Sunday 30 October during opening hours. A selection of Valender’s prints will also be on display in the foyer at the Museum of Art and Culture, yapang.

Explore the exhibition

Download the catalogue(PDF, 3MB)



  • Sunday, 30 October 2022 | 10:00 AM - 03:00 PM


Multi-Arts Pavilion mima, 96 Creek Reserve Road, Speers Point, View in Google Maps

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