Jill Shoffiett

I draw fantasy empires and tell personal stories. Imagined scenes and vistas of suspended endeavor, triumph, and tragedy pervade. The cultural and actual landscape of my native Mississippi, family history, and identity as “Southern” have helped shape my world view and artistic vocabulary. Memories of vast Mississippi landscapes and the detritus filling them, are all part of my work, as are intimate pictures of people within these settings.
I have known many of the somewhat dubious characters whose lives I depict in my work, albeit from an imaginary standpoint. To me, the idea of telling peoples’ stories from the spaces and junk they leave behind is both personal, based on experience, and universal. Spaces, vast landscapes and and intimate rooms, can be seen as metaphors for inner battles and existential narratives. Our spaces are impermanent, transient stage-sets, while the items we collect and hoard are props. In our detritus, I often find humor, along with evidence of the human struggle to survive. I allow the battle for survival and identity to play out to whatever end, and in whatever place, whether Mississippi, or an entirely imaginary realm.