Thursday, July 13, 2006

Jill Downen: Artist Insight

Jill Downen's artwork is featured in Overflow, at 1708 Gallery, running from July 7th until August19th, 2006 and she is the first artist to be interviewed in the new series of Artist Insights planned for the blog. You can see more of her work at

Installation view of Jill Downen's sculptures in Overflow...

Q. Jill, what do you see as the boundaries of your art practice? Is there a way it begins and ends in your life?
A. The boundaries of my art practice exist within the conceptual framework that I choose to investigate. The symbiotic relationship between the human body and architecture is the foundation of that framework. However, the boundaries are flexible and permeamble, allowing for the natural evolution of ideas. I rarely think in terms of begining and ending.
A continuum exists in my practice which takes turns, reveals cycles, and continually moves along with my curiosity and questions.

Q. What is your biggest challenge personally as it pertains to making your work?
A. Installation art is physically demanding. Keeping up with my workouts is essential to stay in shape for the challenges it presents.

Q. What has been your most overwhelmingly aesthetic visual experience?
A. When I saw "Sans II" by Eva Hesse for the first time, I got weak in the knees
and almost fell down. I call this an artgasm.

Eva Hesse, Sans II, 1968, 38 x 86 x 6", fiberglass and polyester resin

Q. Who most inspires you?
A. Construction workers, philosophy, and knowing that things exist that can only be articulated in visual and physical form.

Q. Why do you make art? For whom do you make it?
A. When a person finds her life's purpose and begins to live it out daily, it has potential to create harmony, energy, and what Luce Irigaray calls "breath". (see her book "Key Writings") When this happens, I believe that the people who are connected to that purpose are enabled to meet, relate, and communicate. My hope is that my practice of making art, which is part of my breath, will allow me to meet the people for which it is intended.

No comments: