The figures of artist Jillian Evelyn stare you directly in the eye. That stare — their eyes are wide and clear. This is what you see first. Next are the richly colored shapes, floods of pink and blue, the lines carve the body perfectly from within the canvas. Her work is so clean there is the immediate thought that it is painted digitally, yet it is done in acrylic paint.
Evelyn works exclusively in the female figure and the effect the stranger’s gaze can have on her subjects and in each painting her women pose themselves, contorted, either strained or natural, it is up to the viewer to decide. You can see anxiety, women twisting themselves to be of interest to the viewer, each posing in an attempt to appease. You can see strength, the fight for comfort in one’s own body, one’s own space, to shout through angled leg and arm, “This is me. This is my body. This is my space.”
Evelyn has an amazing sense of composition, you feel the edges of the canvas that each figure pushes against or coils within. There is a sense that at any moment, her figures can stand upright and unfurl, fulling inhabiting the space they rightfully own.