Melbourne based artist
RMIT University BA Fine Art 1980 -83
RMIT University Graduate Diploma Painting 1984
Melbourne College of Advanced Education, Graduate Diploma of Education 1985
My typography is to condense the competing influences of humanity, and whatever we call “modernism” back to a pre-civilised type. I strive to flatten and convert objects, faces, animals and plants, to a similarly un-natural scale. Within this spatial relativity, I hope they acquire unity.
A fascination with the primitive notion of animism is why I have a concoction of Mayan, Egyptian, Mediaeval and Oceanic short-hand, at work. It’s why these images are decorated and distilled to the same value and become, two-dimensional, stencil-like, yet deeply layered. The decorative impulse is condensed. And the painting is also a drawing, converted to a linear and stylistic code. By making objects become granular, etched, and fabric-like, I invite the observer to see the objects as if discovering geology, along with some archetypes of character. And so from that point, to contemplate the human condition.
Exhibitions every year since1999 at Libby Edwards Galleries in either Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane.
In 2018 she began exhibiting at Anthea Polson Art, Gold Coast Qld.
Her work has been collected throughout Australia, as well as in UK, USA, Canada, Taiwan, Japan, Majorca, France and Germany.
"....the works pulsate with gestural energy. Freed from perspective considerations, figurative and geometric elements conjoin in a spatial ambiguity that generates visual intrigue. Surfaces alive with colour, tactile linear markings and strange, symbolic creatures ensure the viewer's participation."
JACQUELINE HOUGHTON 2019
"Jill Lewis conjures fragmentary, dream-like moments on canvas through multi-layered negotiations that translate into a sense of the familiar. The viewer is embroiled in a pictorial journey, at once candidly child-like and extraordinarily sophisticated. Lewis skilfully weaves snippets of ‘everyday life’ into playful and poetic tapestries of mythological animals and fanciful objects. The result is a substantial body of work over twenty years, narrating life's elusive and private moments on her canvases. The artist delves into ancient cultures, borrowing symbols, sacred objects and totems, then employing her iconic mythical creatures. A painterly and spontaneous mark-making technique of rich earthy hues, and gelati colour bombs, emphasise the personal metaphors and private moments underlying her stories. This lyrical and primitive universe forms a theatrical stage for her fantastical cast of bazaar creatures and characters." Katherine Edwards 2017