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Jennifer Mills


Jennifer Mills | Australia b. 1966 |What's in a name?(detail) 2009-11 | Watercolour with pencil on paper | Purchased 2011. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation | Photograph: Susannah Wimberley | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

What’s in a name? 2009-11

Jennifer Mills has had a distinguished career as a painter over many years. What’s in a name? is an ambitious project for the artist: here she gathers together 325 other Jennifer Mills found through the internet from across the globe, especially the English-speaking world where this name has spread — USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand. They have all been transformed through Mills’s tender watercolour paintings, which are as exquisite as they are attentive and non-judgemental.

The now-commonplace phenomenon of trawling internet search engines for information has had many unexpected consequences, such as discovering one’s ‘googleganger’ — an internet double sharing the same name, if little else. One of the artist’s googlegangers, Australian writer Jennifer Mills, wrote in an essay on What’s in a name? of the strange, dislocated intimacy of the internet: ‘The idea that in the mass of difference and differentiation you might have something in common with a stranger has a kind of dizziness about it.’ As writer Jennifer Mills notes: ‘These Jennifers have travelled through the hyperreality of the network, and come back home.’