FCPM: Time, Motherhood, and the Art of Ireland Jill

The Artist

For her exhibition “Stray,” visual artist Ireland Jill channels childhood memories and connects its implications to the present. 

On the topic of the forms in her works, as with all artists, a change over time is almost a necessity. In her case, being a mother has been quite influential. “Observing my son who is perpetually evolving, and surrounding myself with things that remind me of who I am” – these are points that Ireland recounted in her journey thus far. “Whenever I feel lost or feel like an imposter, I always try to go back to the roots of what has shaped and molded me over time.”

Known for whimsical imagery, she takes us on a trip down memory lane. From a vividly colorful place where a plate becomes a spaceship, adulthood hits hard: the plate is just a plate. “Having been a parent myself, I realized how pure and untainted the mind of a child can be,” she muses. From there she harnesses that notion, and infuses narratives of quotidian things from everyday life. “The contents of my work are often narratives of mundane things of everyday life that I love to imagine through the lens of a 5 year old.”

Getting to where she is now was no easy task. Failures led to a lot of trial and error, i.e. it took her over a year to figure out the right formulation for her cakes. This predisposition towards experimentation with various materials and options isn’t very cost efficient either, and neither does the time needed to visualize, conceptualize, and execute the visions in her head. Despite all this, Ireland looks on the brighter side: frustration towards what she can’t figure out gives her the drive and adrenaline to keep at it, stay focused, until the end goal is reached. Failures lead to success in their own way.

Lastly, we explore the various moods involved in her process. Repetition of main subjects is difficult, as each work reflects her (then) current state of mind. She also finds it difficult to revisit works that involved being uncomfortable in the making, although she realizes that for viewers, a different story might take its place. This opens up the world in all its wildness, as art helps people forget the madness. A word of caution though: Ireland reminds us that escapism – the choice to embrace a state of bliss – is not the point. Rather, it's that we are given the path to understand things more, and take a look from a different perspective. We become more aware of the whys and hows of things, of what we are capable and incapable of – and this is what the human experience is all about. 

Through her works, Ireland expresses how despite the cruel reality of the world, we don’t need to confine ourselves in a black and white. Art is the fairy dust that enables us to appreciate our experiences better, and together fly into a reality where things are closer to where we want ourselves to be.


For 2024, Cartellino will explore exhibitions and artworks through form, content, process and mood: FCPM. It might seem too simple for some, but our goal is to make it art relatable and easier to understand. Let us know what you think!