jillian mcdonald

The Hatch

2 channel video installation • 2018


jillian mcdonald

Staring with Billy Bob

Video• 5:54 minutes• 2017


jillian mcdonald

Crystal Lake

HD video • 48 minutes• 2017

IMAGES and video excerpt

Filmed in the Georgian Bay's eastern biosphere, Crystal Lake suggests a supernatural presence.

Funded by the Georgian Bay Land Trust King Family Bursary.

jillian mcdonald

The Thaw

2 channel HD Video installation • 20:50 minutes • 2015

Starring the wintry white prairie of rural Manitoba as it thaws. White animals populate the scenes and appear both as masked actors and live animals. They come out of hiding to hunt, losing their camouflage and turning to ghosts in skull-littered fields.

Filmed in residence at The Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba in Brandon. Soundtrack by Keri Latimer.


jillian mcdonald

The Rock and the True Believers

HD Video • 23:49 minutes • 2015

Shot in Newfoundland, known as "The Rock" to Newfoundlanders, and filled with supernatural notes - trees shimmers, rocks emit light, mummers appear like ghosts, northern lights shine, and iceberg mirages vanish. The images are lulled by the tune of a sea shanty, composed by Keri Latimer in a "call and response" style.


jillian mcdonald


HD Video • 4:54 minutes • 2014

The rooms of an abandoned house lie ruined with surfaces peeled and broken, suggesting a haunted presence without the usual elements of storytelling. Slight movement becomes remarkable and the ghostliness lies in the setting itself.

Filmed in residence at The Glenfiddich International Artists' Residency in Scotland.

jillian mcdonald


HD Video • 11:12 minutes • 2014

Crows in a rookery cry out and congregate at dusk, their presence and sounds suggest a familiar horror.

Filmed in residence at The Glenfiddich International Artists' Residency in Scotland.

jillian mcdonald


HD Video • 12:30 minutes • 2013

A line of fog creeps across wintry landscapes, hinting at a haunting presence.

Filmed in residence at The Glenfiddich International Artists' Residency in Scotland. Soundtrack by Keri Latimer.


jillian mcdonald

Valley of the Deer

HD Video (48:30 minutes) and 3-channel video installation (21:35 minutes) • 2013

Filmed across northern Scotland, Valley of the Deer features masked predators and prey in modified highland dress, along with apparitions of live animals. Folklore, paganism, and traditional music are woven into a hunting narrative amidst romantic landscapes.

Filmed in residence at The Glenfiddich International Artists' Residency in Scotland. Soundtrack by Knocker.


jillian mcdonald

Something Wicked (This Way Comes)

HD Video • 6:25 minutes • 2012

Festival flags, strung from a town's stone clocktower, and fluttering in the wind, suggest a foreboding presence.

Filmed in residence at The Glenfiddich International Artists' Residency in Scotland.

VIDEO (password "wickedfull")

jillian mcdonald

A Prairie Horror

high definition video • 13:28 minutes • 2011

A little house on the prairie is overrun with zombies. Shot in rural Manitoba and featuring a cast of local actors, the narrative is minimal and the focus is the chase, the ambush and the feast. A single victim remains standing.

Filmed in residence at Gallery One One One, University of Manitoba School of Art.

VIDEO (password "Prairiefull")

jillian mcdonald


3-channel video • 2011

Trespassing digitally into TV and film scenes from Twilight (New Moon), True Blood, and Being Human, I have three staring contests with Edward, Bill, and Mitchell - the leading male vampires. These are the new breed vampires of our dreams - insatiable, beautiful, charming, yet dangerous. No one wins and no one loses.

Commissioned and curated by Kate Armstrong and Malcolm Levy for the Electric Speed Marshall McLuhan Commission.

jillian mcdonald

Incident at the Pool

high definition video • 5:40 minutes • 2011

A desert sunbather is killed by her potted cacti, the body dumped poolside.

Filmed in residence at ASU Art Museum in Phoenix, Arizona.

VIDEO (password "CactiAZ")

jillian mcdonald

Field of the Dead and Undead

high definition video • 18:30 minutes • 2011

Actors enter a foggy field one by one, die, then stagger off, undead. Meanwhile others haunt the gloomy field in the background and foreground. The actors were all given a simple instruction, filmed separately, and composited together (a process that took three years to complete) in order to lend their appearances an other-worldly quality.

Filmed on location at Golden Gate National Park, California while in residence at The Headlands Center for the Arts. • Costumes by A.M. Richard • Soundtrack composed by Knocker, arranged by Knocker and Jillian Mcdonald.


jillian mcdonald


high definition video • 7:44 minutes • 2010

Its title a reference to The Shining where a boy predicts "redrum" (murder) before a hotel elevator bursts with blood and all hell breaks loose, this video has a haunted horror theme. The scenes take us through a cavernous home where blood - a predominant prop in horror films - drips from faucets, runs down mirrors, and pools on stairs. This blood appears disembodied until the camera slowly reveals its haunted source, visiting neighbouring houses that also drip with blood, suggesting a murderous streak. RedRum, filmed on location in Buffalo, NY in late 2009, features local teenagers, Buffalo homes, and The Buffalo Soundpainting Ensemble.

Filmed in residence at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center.


jillian mcdonald

Alone Together in the Dark

high definition video installation • 2009

Two videos projected on opposite walls feature zombies and vampires in a Wild West showdown at dawn in the desert. Surrounding the videos are floor-to-ceiling photographic murals that wrap the gallery in local desert imagery: cacti, mountain, rugged terrain, contemporary ghost towns, and graveyards. Freestanding photographic cacti rattle dryly via tiny speakers.

Filmed in residence at ASU Art Museum with a cast of locals in Tempe, Arizona, including 50 actors, 4 videographers, 1 documentary photographer, 10 make-up artists, and 1 sound designer.

jillian mcdonald

Apocalypse Zombie

high definition video • 5:44 minutes (loop) • 2009

A re-imagined final scene from the 1985 New Zealand film "Quiet Earth". A woman on the beach is zombified by an unseen force that also causes beautiful atmospheric meltdown, over and over again.

Filmed in residence at The Headlands Center for the Arts in California

jillian mcdonald apparition


video • 1:34 minutes • 2009

Footage recorded in 1997 but never used until now features an apparition: a haunted chandelier hanging in the middle of the street.

jillian mcdonald brad pitt

Staring Contest with Brad Pitt

video • 1:30 minutes (loop) • 2008

I insert my image digitally into a scene from Meet Joe Black, caught in a endless staring contest with actor Brad Pitt which no one wins and no one loses.

jillian mcdonald sparkling

The Sparkling

installation: video projector, custom software, sensor, Mac mini, speakers • 2008


jillian mcdonald

TV = Evil

video • 2008

A TV hypnotizes and absorbs a young girl and spits out her evil twin, a watery corpse. Poltergeist and The Ring mashup.

Created in residence at ThreeWalls in Chicago.

jillian mcdonald superfan


video • 2008

Superfan features the artist, trespassing digitally into scenes from Hollywood films. She rides in vehicles with costars Billy Bob Thornton and Donald Sutherland, but despite their attempts at conversation, the trio of male leads cannot shake her concentration on the game, that is, the final minutes of a Superbowl game radio broadcast.

Commissioned by Art Engine (Canada).

watch excerpt

jillian mcdonald

The Screaming

video • 11 minutes • 2007

I trespass digitally into existing horror films scenes. Uttering a scream on cue with the startling action, but rather than screaming in helpless horror, I scream to scare the monsters away, or even destroy them. (pictured - screaming in Hallowe'en)

jillian mcdonald

Screen Kiss

Video and website 2005.

• Created with support from Soil Digital Media in Regina