About the Artist
Jill Thomson's artwork evokes her personal history of a small town/prairie childhood, an urban Montreal young adulthood and a settled life as artist and mother of three in Edmonton. Her rich colourful palette and complex compositions celebrate a creative life in cities with generous front porches, cafes, bookstores, bicycle paths, gardens and ravines.
She received her BFA from Concordia University in Montreal. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Human Ecology - Material Culture, with her main project being her series of Urban Garden Paintings. She is represented by Gibson Fine Art in Calgary and AGA Art Rental and Sales in Edmonton. She has work in the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and in international public and private collections.
Thomson’s neighbourhood painting for MLA Rachel Notley depicts the Legislature from a Strathcona neighbourhood perspective, and hangs in her office in the Federal Building. “Edmonton Neighbourhood” was purchased by the Edmonton Arts Council as a gift for their capital campaign and hangs in Edmonton City Hall. Nine of her paintings are featured in a permanent alleyway mural for the Alberta Ave Alley Project, as part of the revitalization of Alberta Avenue. Her painting, “Heritage Quarter” was brought to life as the setting for three operas in a collaborative video projection project with Mercury Opera and Guru Digital and was recently screened in opera festivals in the UK and Ukraine.
“Jill Thomson’s paintings are views of urban environments and interiors of both public and private spaces such as cafes, libraries, brownstones and homes and as the paintings’ surfaces increase in size so the images absorb more houses, their street – the entire neighbourhood. The paintings have become deconstructed views of a house in a setting – its content and its inhabitants simultaneously revealed through multiple planes on a single surface.
A western viewer, particularly an urban person, recognizes the architectural vernacular of the old, Chicago-style neighbourhoods, their bungalows and four-squares – their brick facades – the same architecture Jill brings up to the surface to reveal both the structure and its interior. This shared visual language between artist and audience heightens the metaphoric and narrative possibilities of these works and reflects back to the viewer her own relationship to place and time.”
Heather Hamel, Scott Gallery, Edmonton