Jess MacNeil’s works in Facade are ‘thought pieces’; works that are by-products of research and outcomes generated along the way to making other objects and installations. They are not ephemera, not out-takes but an intermingling of accident and intention…
The Artereal on-line exhibition is a mix of wall sculptures and “painted-onto” digital photographic prints. These works devolve from Facade, the eponymous full-scale shop-front intervention that is an opportunistic congealed silicone “ooze” of multiple colours – bright pink, orange and purple, leaching from ceiling height, tracking along grout lines and flowing down a section of the window glass towards the William Street pavement in Darlinghurst. The facade installation at the Square One studios @ ORA shopfront was seen at 51 William Street Darlinghurst 14 September – 14 October 2023. The architectural intervention lives on in its associated artworks.
“Ooze” is both a consistent motif within Jess MacNeil’s art and a quality common to many of her viscous materials of choice: among them resins, plastics and oil paint. The artist has unconventionally used another “ooze” product, playdough, more usually associated with creative play to take an impression of the shopfront crevices and surfaces for later casting in silicone.
In both subject and execution, MacNeil’s practice is characterised by a crossover of control and happenstance and elements of reveal and conceal. Her compositions are distinctive for their perverse orientations, unconventional picture plane perspectives and significance accorded the in-between spaces. This can be seen in her resin sculptures, past productions of videos made from painting directly onto celluloid film and paintings characterised by her distinctive gestural mark-making and a penchant for paint to be daubed, let flow and drip.
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