Our stuff – from well-worn living room chairs, to a kettle in the kitchen or a long-beloved blanket – harbours emotional histories and intimate meanings that run far deeper than originally perceived. Both everyday items and precious possessions have stories to tell; stories that are at once deeply personal, and yet capable of reflecting the experiences of entire communities. Jazz Keillor’s studio practice explores material culture through a multitude of viewpoints, exposing societal and psychological underpinnings of the physical objects with which we surround ourselves. This exhibition examines the ways in which we, as 21st century humans, accumulate, use and ritualize “stuff”. Through the stroke of a brush, the texture of paper, pigment and paint, these works explore notions of home and the identities we construct through acts of place-making. The works also explore the ethical, ecological, and psychological burden of objects, and the tensions this burden holds with the way that objects bring us meaning, joy and a sense of identity.
Recent Covid-19 social-isolation protocols have intensified our relationships with home. Each dwelling has become a self-contained island bristling with daily rituals, creative coping-mechanisms and provisional routines. As we have grappled individually with the anxiety of these times, we are all simultaneously re-imagining the functions and limitations of our living spaces. In this way, even our most profoundly personal moments fit into a broader framework of collective experience.
Jazz Keillor is an emerging Canadian artist currently based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she is an MFA candidate at NSCAD University, class of 2023. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Mount Allison University, in Sackville, New Brunswick with a major in painting and sculpture and a minor in art history. Upon graduating in 2015, she was chosen as the New Brunswick provincial winner of the BMO 1st Art Invitational Student Art Competition. Keillor has been a recipient of a Canada Council Explore and Create project grant (2020), an Alberta Foundation for the Arts individual project grant (2019), and a Sparkbox Studio Emerging Artist Residency Award (2016).