Born in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Lives and works in London, United Kingdom.
Jess MacNeil works between painting, installation, video and film. Her practice explores human relationships with the world around us, reflecting shifting perceptions of this environment and our passage through it. Her works are marked by absence and non-specific encounter, by junction and by the potent spaces between. They embody a sensibility that is poised on the brink of engagement and non-engagement. They are elusive, and cryptic, and expressed through fragmentation and angularity and focused in those parts that are ‘missing’; and predicated on a strange coexistence of presence and absence – or even the ‘presence of absence’.
Jess MacNeil has exhibited widely internationally and within Australia. Her work was included in ‘Primavera’ at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney and the Samstag Museum of Art in 2008 and was presented at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, in 2009, and as ‘On Reflection’, a solo exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Singapore, 2011.
She was awarded the Anne & Gordon Samstag Scholarship, the Fauvette Louriero Memorial Artists Travel Scholarship, and Australia Council Grant in 2006 and 2011 and completed a Graduate Affiliate Program at the Slade School, London in 2008. In 2009 she won the Primavera Veolia Acquisitive Award.
In 2012 MacNeil was included in the 18th Biennale of Sydney: All our relations and was commissioned to create new work for inclusion in the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art’s annual exhibition NEW13.
In 2010, Green Cardamom and the Lakeland Arts Trust commissioned a major new work for inclusion in Drawn from Life at Abbott Hall Museum and Art Gallery, Cumbria, 2011. MacNeil was also the recipient of an Experimenta Media Arts commission and was included in Experimenta Speak to Me 5th International Biennial of Media Art, 2012-14.
Her work is held in public collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, and the Australia Council for the Arts as well as numerous Australian and international private collections.