2024 Grad Show

Jillian Louise Cote

AUArts Grad Show JillianLouisePortrait


My practice explores the anomalies that interrupt our quotidian existence and inhabit our myths and stories - rarely seen creatures, miraculous coincidences, flying saucers in the sky, ad infinitum. These occurrences are abject, existing in the blur between fiction and reality. My work is situated within this void in an effort to understand my own desire for escapism while drawing on stories about the anomalous experiences of others. I identify myself with the abject in these stories as I navigate the various facets of my identity that do not feel at home under pre-existing identifying labels. Using the anthropomorphization of the art object and the suspension of disbelief I create moments of fantasy in the mundane and invite the viewer into the world I have created.

These notions realize themselves through a variety of traditional handicrafts, such as papier mache and jewellery making. These materials and processes are found in common everyday items, emphasizing the immediate and ever-present nature of my subject matter. My work seeks to establish an immersive space, one in which theatricality engenders an arena for myth and magic to thrive, while material flaws reveal the contingency and precariousness of these belief systems.

Through explorations of the mythical I aim to carve out a place within established norms and rigid definitions, reveling in the strangeness that exists in ambiguity to look at alternate paths of existence and new trajectories of being,. I blur the space between storytelling and everyday life to show that myth saturates our existence.


Part of a semester-long exploration of the figure of the mermaid and what happens when you reverse the halves of a hybrid creature. The work consists of 5 handmade copper fishing lures hanging in space, depicting these inverted mermaids. It looks at relationships between truth and fiction, contrasting the whimsical and fantastic nature of the mermaids with the very real presence of the lures as objects.

A Wonder of Nature

Part of a semester-long exploration of the figure of the mermaid and what happens when you reverse the halves of a hybrid creature. The work consists of a human-scale model of a being with human legs and the head and torso of a fish. The abject nature of this reversal considers the strangeness of existing "in-between," not quite human and not quite fish but also not arranged in the "proper" manner.


A set of wearable jewellery pieces exploring the myth of Arachne, using the spider as a metaphor for creative energy.

Inner Demons

A puppetry performance in which I externalized the worst parts of myself and approached them with compassion and patience. A lesson in resilience and healing.


A set of 4 rings depicting 4 stages in the decomposition of a human finger.

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