Jill Ho-You is a sessional instructor at the Alberta College of Art + Design and at the University of Alberta. Her prints and drawings have been exhibited nationally and internationally, including solo exhibitions at Harcourt House in Edmonton, AB (2013) and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia (2011.)
Memory and its dynamic connection to identity and corporeality inform my artistic practice and corresponding research. Through drawing and printmaking, I endeavor to access the physical manifestations of past experience by creating speculative anatomical studies which blur the boundaries between body, memory and landscape.
In what ways are personal memories, emotions and cognition expressed through the physicality of the body? Genetics has shown that certain childhood experiences leave permanent marks upon an individual’s genome by altering gene expression. Physical anthropology has long demonstrated that organs, teeth and bones record events such as disease and trauma. Therefore the physical body retains traces of memory at the tissue, cell and molecular levels. My work draws insights from these visceral observations and draws parallels to the geologic record, where traces of the Earth’s history are documented in its own minerals, sediments and land forms.
Drawing inspiration from early anatomical illustrations, the visual language of the medical and earth sciences, my work weaves these various elements, images and textures in ways that suggest the passage of time and the disordered accumulation of experience. In my work the body becomes a site of excavation with past memories alternatively deposited and exposed like the strata of the Earth. Layers of drawing are combined with intaglio techniques building images which are tangible and ephemeral, physiological and psychological. By connecting the temporal with the physical, I am also playing with the fragile tension between life and mortality, permanence and impermanence.