Jolene Liam, commended in the practitioner category of Eye Line, offers a sense of enclosure and focus on the spaces in between in images prompted by Covid quarantine
Liam received a commendation in the 2018 Eye Line for her obsessively observed ‘exercises in banality’; a modern-day visual allusion to Xavier de Maistre’s ‘A Journey Around My Room’. This caught the imagination of the judges long before pandemic lockdown gave the work a devastating currency; so it is good to see her acknowledged in this year’s cohort. Here, it is a return to Singapore to isolate, and the two-week quarantine it necessitated, that proved to be a rich territory for Liam’s graphic musings. And it is both the room in which she quarantined and her grandmother’s city council-built home, with its notional corridor garden, that feeds her imagination.
A meditation on the spaces around us and how they define our identity
It was Neal Shasore who argued most strongly for her inclusion on the winners’ list, seeing it very much as ‘a meditation on the spaces around us and how they define our identity – and feeling very true to the moment’. And Arinjoy Sen loved the images, agreeing that they gave ‘a sense of enclosure and a focus on spaces in between’.