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A prairie childhood in the Midwest, a young adulthood in Montreal and a settled life as an artist, mother and grandmother in Edmonton, informs an inner landscape of small town, ancestral farm, and vibrant city. 

My Urban Garden paintings celebrate creative life in cities, with gardens tended in all manner of living situations: front yards, balconies, rooftops and community gardens. They are inspired by cities establishing bicycle infrastructure and “within walking distance” paths to local shops through green space and ravines with a renewed connection to small, regional farms. They offer breathing space to congested urban quarters, breaking the grid of city life with organic growth and flora. 

Over many years, I have been slowly unearthing and establishing a visual language for this personal view of observed and remembered space. These compositions are travelled; meandering on multiple plains, with the familiar vernacular of neighbourhood houses, city architecture and public space, brought to the surface and opened-up, to interior living environments: kitchens, cafes and libraries. 

In their execution, from the early washes to the overlay between spaces, the paintings explore the organized and unexpected entanglement between cities and farms, kitchens and gardens, and buildings and trees; presenting urban design that acknowledges and enhances the necessary connectivity between humans and the natural world within the restrained dense confines of cities. These compositions have become my personal language for exploring and balancing the chaos, control and fluidity of a contained density of connected spaces in an urban landscape. 

Artist Statement

Jill Thomson

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