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Jill Townsley is an artist who works predominantly with large-scale sculpture, though her practice has expanded to include time based media, especially time-lapse animation that documents her process or the temporality of her large sculptures. Her exhibitions may also include drawing and photography. She studied Sculpture at the Royal College of Art and has a practice-based PhD in Fine Art from Liverpool University, for which she received a Gladstone Fellowship from the University of Chester. Her work has been reviewed in the journal Artfractures in an article entitled Moments of Repetition by Robert Luzar and featured in a variety of newspapers and magazines such as the New York Times, Korean Elle Magazine, AD magazine (2008) Craft Magazine and the Independent (2011).
She has exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently in the exhibition Compulsive , Obsessive, Repetitive (Summer 2011) at Towner Contemporary in Eastbourne. Other exhibitions include Second Lives Remixing the Ordinary, (2008 09) the at the Museum of Art and Design in New York and a solo exhibition at the Nunnery Gallery London (2010). She has had work commissioned (2011) by the international architects firm Gensler for the offices of Clifford Chance in Washington DC. Future exhibitions include a solo exhibition at the Project 4 Gallery also in Washington DC, USA (2012). Jill has recently had artwork and an essay published in an Arts Council funded book 100 Things Not Worth Repeating: On Repetition (2011) edited by Marianne Holm Hansen and published by Lemon Melon.
Jills PhD is entitled The Process of Repetition: Temporalities, Labour, Appropriations and Authorship (2010) and has initiated papers for conference and publication including: The Process of Repetition - Digital Representations of Repetitive Labour Through Time (2010) at the SoftBorders New Media Art Conference and Festival in Sao Paulo Brazil and The Process of Repetition: Transgressing the Boundaries of Fine Art, Craft and Design (2010) at the 2nd International Forum of Design as a Process at the University of Averio, Portugal.
My work is inherently repetitive, not as an endlessly repeating subject or object but repetition embedded within the process of art production. The work is often large in scale, installation based or temporary, though the physical action applied to its construction is generally of a domestic hand-held' dimension, and always excruciatingly repetitive.
In order to explore further into the act of repeating, I have been drawn towards materials that offer a multiplicity, or act in a singular way when an action is applied to them and then repeated. Materials such as, till rolls, plastic spoons and rubber bands, have characteristics that can indicate repetitive ways of working. The actions of labour applied, are often simple and unskilled, such as looping, tying or scribbling. The labours are meaningless as singular, but often become more than the sum of the parts when repeated. In this way each repetition has value towards a greater intent.
I am interested in repetition not just as a device or a pre-requisite to forming a critical mass or achieving a particular form, but as a tool to question our cultural concerns. The act of repeating is capable of highlighting our relationship to, time and temporality, the concept of the moment, failure, erasure and authorship.
Townsley, J (2013) ‘Till Rolls (Art Laguna Prize catalogue and winner of the Juried Press Award 2013)’. In: 7th International Arte Laguna Prize. Venice, Itally: Arte Laguna. pp. 92-92.
Townsley, J (2013) Till Rolls (installation at the 7th International Arte Laguna Prize) [Show/Exhibition]
Townsley, J (2013) Sisyphus (ROTOR solo exhibition at Huddersfield Art Gallery) [Show/Exhibition]
Townsley, J (2012) TOIL (Solo exhibition for Project 4 Gallery, Washington DC, USA) [Show/Exhibition]
Townsley, J (2012) Upcycle Exhibition [Show/Exhibition]
Townsley, J (2011) Fulford in Fog [Show/Exhibition]
Townsley, J (2011) ‘A Search for Repetition in the Process of Art Production’. In: 100 Things Not Worth Repeating: On Repetition. : LemonMelon. pp. 50-61. ISBN 9781908260017
Unver, E. and Townsley, J. (2011) Integration of 3D technologies to communicate large scale sculpture installation: Till Rolls Case Study [Video]
Townsley, J (2011) Till Rolls (commissioned for exhibition Obsessive, Compulsive, Repetitive) [Show/Exhibition]
Townsley, J (2011) ‘The Submerged Side of the Art Iceberg’. In: Compulsive Obsessive Repetitive. : Towner. pp. 6 & 20-9 & 21. ISBN 9781871360189
Townsley, J (2011) Textures of Time [Show/Exhibition]
Townsley, J (2011) ‘The Process of Repetition - Digital Representations of Repetitive Labour Through Time’. In: Soft Borders Conference & Festival Proceedings: papers. Sao Paulo, Brazil: Upgrade International. pp. 77-83. ISBN 9788587985415
Townsley, J (2011) Commission - Desk - Clifford Chance offices Washington DC USA. Gensler .
Townsley, J (2010) Moments of Repetition in the Process of Art Production: Temporalities, Labour, Appropriations and Authorships Doctoral thesis, The University of Liverpool.
Townsley, J (2010) The Plaza Principle [Show/Exhibition]
Townsley, J (2010) ‘The Processes of Repetition: Transgressing the Boundaries of Fine Art, Craft and Design’. In: The 2nd International Forum of Design as a Process, 28 - 30 October 2010, University of Averio, Portugal
Townsley, J (2010) ‘Repetitive action repetitive action’ Radar , 1 (1), pp. 30-31. ISSN 2049-4327
Townsley, J (2010) Moments of Repetition (Solo exhibition for The Nunnery Gallery, London) [Show/Exhibition]
Townsley, J (2010) Satie 840. In: Making and Unmaking, Repair and Repetition [Show/Exhibition]
Townsley, J (2010) ‘'Spoons' in Soanyway magazine’ Soanyway , 2010 (2). ISSN 2043-6408
Townsley, J (2009) ‘Domain Rules’. In: Winchester School of Art Research Anthology. Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton: Winchester Gallery Press. pp. 104-109. ISBN 9781873451618
Townsley, J (2008) Spoons (in Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary) [Show/Exhibition]
Townsley, J (2008) Unnatural Histories [Show/Exhibition]
Townsley, J (2008) ‘satie 840’. In: Unnatural Histories: Catalogue for the exhibition 'Unnatural Histories', curated and written by Myriam Blundell.. London: Bow Arts Trust. p. 22.
Townsley, J (2008) ‘Plastic Spoons Rubber Bands’. In: Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary. New York: Museum of Art and Design. pp. 220-223. ISBN 1-890385-14-X
Townsley, J (2008) ‘Second Lives Remixing the Ordinary (catalogue)’. In: Second Lives Remixing the Ordinary. New York, USA: Museum of Art and Design. pp. 220-223. ISBN 189038514X