Jessie Boylan is going it solo

In 2018, Bendigo Art Gallery will hold the fifth exhibition in its annual Going Solo exhibition series.

Launched in 2014, Going Solo reinforces the gallery’s commitment to fostering and promoting the careers of contemporary Australian artists living and working regionally, showcasing the best of local contemporary art alongside significant national and international exhibitions.

GOING SOLO: Jessie Boylan in her studio, 2016. Boylan is the Bendigo Art Gallery's 2018 Going Solo artist. Photo: DAVID FIELD.

GOING SOLO: Jessie Boylan in her studio, 2016. Boylan is the Bendigo Art Gallery's 2018 Going Solo artist. Photo: DAVID FIELD.

Bendigo Art Gallery is pleased to announce Jessie Boylan as the 2018 Going Solo artist.

Over the next year, Jessie will work closely with gallery curators to produce an ambitious new body of work to be presented in a solo exhibition at the gallery.

Jessie is a photomedia artist based in Castlemaine.

Through her thought-provoking work, she explores issues relating to human impacts on the land and communities in relation to environmental and social devastation - like nuclear testing, mining, and war. Her work is underpinned by extensive research, which has taken her to many remote and contested landscapes. It has also provided her with opportunities to engage directly with communities affected by both the immediate and long-term legacy of such adversity.  

This direct engagement with affected landscapes and communities imbues Jessie’s work with a raw authenticity. Working first-hand with people and places forced to adapt and rise to a challenge despite the odds has afforded her great insight, particularly into human persistence, resilience, and resistance. Through her work, she endeavors to acknowledge the horror of catastrophe and pay tribute to the ways in which people respond and move forward into the future.

While her practice is politically and socially motivated and she is clearly passionate about her subject matter, Jessie doesn’t force her message. Instead, acknowledging the diversity of experience in any situation, she weaves layers of still and moving images together with stories and histories into immersive environments that encourage contemplation. By taking a more abstract approach than straight documentary telling, she hopes to unsettle preconceptions and prompt inquiry.

Ultimately, she believes in the agency of art to make an impact and hopes to create the space for people to think about things that are often overlooked or bypassed in the day-to-day of ‘business-as-usual’.  

Jessie’s new work for Bendigo Art Gallery will extend upon her ongoing investigation into emergencies and disasters that have and continue to impact upon Australia’s environmental and social history, people and communities.