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Jillian McDonald
BROOKLYN, NY
Neighborhood: East New York



ARTIST STATEMENT: I make films, performances, drawings and new media artworks inspired by popular film genres like horror and romance. Horror themes and cautionary tales are central to recent projects, which feature simple narratives, archetypes like zombies or masked figures, magnificent landscapes, and local actors. The Rock and the True Believers (2015) was shot in Newfoundland ("The Rock" to Newfoundlanders), featuring barren rock, the North Atlantic, icebergs, and fog, all shimmering with the supernatural. Local actors, some dressed as mummers, stand among carnivorous pitcher plants, moose, sea lions, whales and puffins. A soundtrack features modified sea shanties in a "call and response" style, traditionally sung on the voyage towards shore. Filmed across Northern Scotland, Valley of the Deer (2013) is populated sparsely by masked predators and prey in modified highland dress, along with apparitions of live animals. Folklore, paganism, and traditional music are woven into a hunting narrative amidst lush landscapes. In these works, each scene is a separate composition and a nearly still image where little movement, save hair in wind or an animal moving its head, betrays the stillness. Earlier video work features performances either filmed live in urban locations, or shot in my studio and transposed with scenes from popular films. In Horror Make-up, I applied makeup during a subway commute, transforming myself into a ghoul rather than beautifying my features. The subway audience was unaware they were witnessing a performance. In The Screaming (2007), I trespass digitally into brief scenes from familiar horror films such as The Shining and A Nightmare on Elm Street, screaming to scare monsters away or even destroy them.
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  • Crystal Lake
    2016 - in progress
    video
    variable, running time 20 minutes

  • The Rock and the True Believers
    2015
    video
    variable, running time 23:49 minutes
    excerpt - https://vimeo.com/120809510

  • The Thaw
    2015
    2-channel video
    variable, running time 20:50 minutes
    excerpt - https://vimeo.com/140438124

  • The Thaw
    2015
    oil on found oil paintings, 6 total
    each 36" X 24"
    http://jillianmcdonald.net/projects/the-thaw-paintings.html

  • Valley of the Deer
    2013
    3-channel video installation with wall drawing
    variable, 21:30 minutes running time
    installation excerpt - https://vimeo.com/69200516

  • Valley of the Deer
    2013
    3-channel video installation with wall drawing
    variable

  • Valley of the Deer
    2013
    ink and watercolour on paper, 13 drawings
    each 30" X 24"

  • Spirit
    2013
    video
    variable, 12:29 minutes running time
    https://vimeo.com/80035262

  • Something Wicked (This Way Comes)
    2012
    video
    variable, 6:30 minutes running time
    https://vimeo.com/46574631
 








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