Gillian finds commentary within the existence of social ideals, social orders, idealized lifestyles and beliefs especially as they pertain to colonial Western culture. Their manufactured existence, illusionary value, tenuous persistence and questionable motives are of particular interest.
These canonized ideals present the conflict of undeniable allure and simultaneous visceral threat or repulsion. Present is the primal urge to rebel conflicting with unsettling but implicit desire for that very same thing. The presentation of symbolic imagery draws from reoccurring themes within digital culture and social media, which presents an infinite array of ideals and desires as a sensory collage of fleeting instants.
The inevitability of change as an innate inclination of all systems is imagined as a potential suspended, sublime moment – the figures are enveloped in contexts made up of a myriad of ideals, options, risks and rewards. Infinite potential is present in this moment of choice, challenge and change by the next generation - their intentions complex, conflicted and indecipherable - the obstacles quietly waiting - and the outcome as of yet undefined.
The work references the individual experience, tapping into primal sensations and providing visceral opportunities for the viewer. The series’ combine large-scale paintings, sculpture, video, projection and constructions. The installations are environmental in scope, with both 2-D & 3-D work assembled, staggered and clustered, constructing spaces and incorporating both real and illusionary environments as extensions of each other.
Gillian Iles’ practice consists of painting, sculpture and video/projection. She has exhibited in New York, San Francisco, Brooklyn, Chicago, Miami, Montreal and Toronto in public institutions, university galleries, artist-run centres and commercial galleries. Recent projects include solo exhibitions at the Rosemary Duffy Larson Gallery in Florida and Redhead Gallery in Toronto. Her work has been highlighted in Canadian Art, Mix Magazine, Toronto Life Magazine, as well as the National Post and The Globe and Mail. She is featured in the book Carte Blanche Volume 2: Painting. Gillian was a founding member of two artist-run galleries in Toronto - Propeller and Loop and is currently part of Blunt Collective and Glasshouse Collective, which investigate the role of representation and narrative in visual imagery. Gillian teaches at the Ontario College of Art and Design and Sheridan College in Canada.
Her environmental scale installations include combinations of paintings, sculptures, constructions video and projection, creating installations incorporating both real and illusionary space, transforming exhibition spaces into a composite of alternate realities. The viewer is always considered to be the final element within the installation.