Crystal Lake

Jillian McDonald


In Crystal Lake, McDonald exhibits recent work in video, drawing, and prints that feature northern landscapes, paranormal visions, and folklore — both real and imagined. Local actors, glowing rocks, fog, or flags are characters in a visual narrative. Premiering at AXENÉO7, her video Crystal Lake (2017) — filmed on Canada's Georgian Bay, whose 30,000 islands are populated by summer cottagers. Signs of cottage life were removed from video footage and the shores and waterways appear in more natural forms. The Rock and the True Believers (2015), was shot along the north and east coasts of Newfoundland; in it, icebergs, whales, boats, and mummers in disguise stand among apparitions. Birds: After Audubon and Hitchcock (2015), a drawing on cut paper, features birds from Audubon's Birds of North America redrawn and configured in a swarm, to reference Hitchcock's film of the same name.

Jillian McDonald is a Canadian artist living in New York (USA) where she teaches video and performance art at Pace University. Solo shows and projects include the Esker Foundation in Calgary, Air Circulation in New York, and Centre Clark in Montréal (Canada). Her work was featured on The Whitney Museum's Artport in New York, at The Edith Russ Haus for Media Art in Oldenbourg (Germany), The Sundance Film Festival in Utah (USA), and New Media Space in New Westminster (Canada). A 2013 feature length radio documentary by Paul Kennedy on CBC's IDEAS profiles her work, which has also been reviewed in The New York Times and Canadian Art. Critical discussion appears in books including The Transatlantic Zombie (2015), by Sarah Juliet Lauro and Deconstructing Brad Pitt (2014), edited by Christopher Schaberg. McDonald received grants and commissions from The New York Foundation for the Arts, The Canada Council for the Arts, Turbulence, and Pace University. She has attended residencies at Glenfiddich (Scotland), The Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito (California), Lilith Performance Studio in Malmö (Sweden), The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council in New York, and the Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta (Canada). In 2017, she participated in the Arctic Circle Residency and Expedition in Svalbard (Norway).