Looking East Archibald finalist 2023
"Jill explores West Australian life and history and enjoys combining the real and the imagined to allow a narrative to unfurl.
Stories are often conjured from found objects and paintings are peopled by the odd and obscure. Her work engages the viewer with humour and warm humanity."
“I am a Western Australian figurative artist and work across a wide range of subjects from desert landscapes to portraits. I often take inspiration from inland Western Australia and West Australian stories, people and history. I like to suggest a narrative in my work.
I love sketching the initial idea and then seeing it completed in paint. When I am painting I am immersed in the scene I am creating. I don’t think of the things I put in the painting as shapes, but as real things. It is like an extreme form of daydreaming where I get to place the characters and scenery as I choose. There is often a narrative element to my painting and I am in the story while I am painting it.
Usually, I get an idea for a painting, sketch it before I can forget it, and then collect supporting material for the idea (photos, sketches objects, etc.). I then work up a composition I am happy with and loosely sketch it up on the canvas. Sometimes I will diverge from the original vision as another idea seems better, but most often the work is close to the original sketch. For portraits, I want to capture something that expresses something intrinsic to the subject. I often work in assemblage and enjoy combining portraits with objects in a unified composition.
My work often explores themes of loneliness, isolation, and perseverance. Occasionally I will create a work as a social comment. I also like to capture that perfect happy still moment – this is typical of my dog beach paintings. I paint a wide variety of subject matter as so many things are interesting