Gillian Iles is a Toronto-based artist who exhibits in cities such as New York, San Francisco, Brooklyn, Chicago, Miami, Montreal and Toronto. In Toronto, she has exhibited with Katharine Mulherin and curator Mia Nielsen. Gillian was a founding member of two co-operative artist-run galleries in Toronto - Propeller and Loop. Her work has been highlighted in Mix Magazine, Toronto Life Magazine, Now Magazine, Eye Weekly as well as the National Post and The Globe and Mail. She is featured in the book Carte Blanche Volume 2: Painting. Gillian is part of Blunt Collective and Glasshouse Collective. Gillian is currently teaching at OCADU, Sheridan College and the Toronto School of Art.
Gillian’s paintings combine rich vital realism and directed content with formal investigation of space, planar fracturing of space and scale, shifts between flat and modeled surfaces and a general consideration of the viewer as the final subject within the piece.
Ongoing areas of investigation are the existence of social ideals, social orders and idealized lifestyles especially as they pertain to Western culture; their origins, evolution and their role in forming public ideology. The role and influence of these social norms and their tenuous permanence are of particular interest. Specifically, their influence on individuals perceived and projected identities, the outsider’s perception of them and the primal inclination for generational shifts and challenges to the accepted ideals.
Imagery which captures or reflects these social ideals are used directly or are altered and manipulated to fabricate suggestive narratives. Bringing together generalized or iconic imagery sourced from the mass media with imagery that is personal, specific and unique creates new hybrid imagery with primary and secondary narratives occurring simultaneously. These multiple narratives are intentionally discordant, but not altogether unrelated, and serve to directly influence and redirect each other’s interpretation. This directly relates to the ongoing interest in the manufacturing of public ideology and the role of imagery in affecting bias and interpretation.