Jillian Ackert – Selwyn Public Library, Bridgenorth 2023
Jillian Ackert moving through
Exhibit now closed
Jillian Ackert is a self-taught artist, living and finding home in Nogojiwanong (Peterborough). While she often utilizes digital photography in her business and art practice, her home and heart lie with film. Primarily a portrait photographer, Jillian fell in love with film early on in her learning for the intimacy and softness that it brings to her photographs, and its profound or perhaps magical ability to capture what people are feeling in their hearts at that moment in time.
It’s been 8 years since she picked up her first film camera, and still, imperfections are found on every roll. Blur, light leaks, grain, and over/under exposure are all elements you will find in her photographs. To Jillian, she has come to appreciate these as offerings… a special way to view the world through her lens– not to mention the joy, relief, and lessons that come from working with a medium that she will never fully control or predict.
Her collection presented through this year’s SPARK Photo Festival is titled “moving through”, and it presents a handful of 35mm film photographs that Jillian took over the last 3 years. Through the pandemic, her camera offered a space to settle in and grasp on to feelings of familiarity, knowing, and comfort. As a result, the stills presented in her collection capture quiet reflections on moving through the grief, learning, disruption, and calm that came (and continues to come) with living in COVID times. They tell a story of a person who both struggles and refuses to move on, from a pandemic that is not yet over. Her hope is that these photographs might serve as a place where people can linger, where it is safe to remember, and where ongoing feelings of grief, anger, fear, confusion, and of course, immense and profound love, will forever be welcomed and valid.
Jillian is grateful to SPARK Photo Festival and the Bridgenorth Public Library for offering her this opportunity to share this deeply personal collection.