Jill McKnight (b. 1990, Sunderland, UK) is a multidisciplinary artist working across sculpture, drawing, film, sound and writing. Her practice focuses on exploring lesser heard stories, particularly from women and working-class people. Recent work has looked at the representation of community identities and collective voices, together with more personal histories, capturing the multiplicity and commonality that exists within them. In 2021-22, McKnight was artist-in-residence for Collections in Dialogue, a co-commission between Leeds Art Gallery and the British Library, culminating in the artist’s first institutional solo exhibition Desire Lines at Leeds Art Gallery. McKnight has previously exhibited at institutions across the UK, including The Art House, Wakefield; Saatchi Gallery; South London Gallery; Wysing Arts Centre and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. McKnight was awarded a Henry Moore Foundation Artist Award in 2020.
Jill McKnight is one of DePOT’s Artists-in-Residence for 2023-2024.
Past and Future Pact will connect with residents of Sunderland, UK, to explore the identities of individuals in relation to the city where they live, more than 30 years since heavy industry closures. I will work with community participants and members of my own family to record perspectives of differently marginalised gendered experiences of care and domestic work in the family home and paid employment. In Stage 1 of the residency, I will arrange and record interviews, alongside making separate creative responses of writing, drawing and film. In Stage 2, I will develop, make and share a new body of work, including a soundscape, film, sculpture and digital sketchbook. Recently announced government and cultural investments means that the city is now potentially on the precipice of transformation, with the chance to regenerate like other post-industrial cities in the global north. It therefore feels like a vital moment to take stock of the effects of its deindustrialization – to capture where it is now and consider the possibilities of what it could become.