My recent video and performance productions include the participation of non-professional actors and crew members trained on location and ranging in age from one to eighty. My most recent work is inspired by remarkable landscapes, and archetypes found in the horror film genre.
Rather than following a linear narrative I tell a visual story with pictures, preferring as Alfred Hitchcock did to “rely on action to tell [a] story and resort to dialogue only when it's impossible to do otherwise." In each of my most recent video works, the specific landscape or setting reads like an essential character in the scenario. The Scottish highlands, decaying Victorian homes in Buffalo, New York, a fog filled Northern California valley, an Arizona desert, a Swedish forest, and the Canadian prairies each become dramatic sites, in which the humorous and poetic aspects of scary stories are emphasized.
Jillian McDonald is a Canadian artist, living in Brooklyn. She has spent the past 7 months in Scotland,
Exhibitions include Lilith Performance Studio in Sweden, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center in Buffalo, Arizona State University Art Museum in Tempe, Edith Russ Haus for Media Art in Germany, the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, and the Centre d’Art Contemporain de Basse-Normandie in France.
McDonald has received awards from The New York State Council on the Arts, The New York Foundation for the Arts, The Canada Council for the Arts, and Turbulence. She has attended numerous residencies including the Headlands Center for the Arts, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Workspace, and The Banff Centre for the Arts.
Reviews have appeared in The New York Times, Art Papers, The Globe and Mail, and Border Crossings magazine, and a discussion of her work appears in books including Better Off Dead by Sarah Juliet Lauro.