The life like mural painted on the exterior of Who Shot The Barista has been the buzz of Instagram posters from around the world. The masterpiece is the work of Jacqueline Hill. While this bold artist is not a West End local, the creative hub is home to many of her recent Trompe Líoeil optical illusions. “It has everything,” Hill says of 4101. “It’s a wonderful place to work.” One only needs to head out for coffee to find one of Jacqueline’s magical doorways to places far away.
Being an artist was not always Hill’s plan. “When I was a little kid, I wanted to be an astronaut. I know that’s a bit mad!” she said. This gravitation toward space led her to mathematics and science and after university she fell into computer science working in the oil and mining industries. Over many years in this career, Hill knew something was not right. “I felt like I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing on this planet. I had this idea that I wanted to leave the world a better place than I found it.” After long weeks of writing computer software, Hill spent her weekends creating. “I was creating all these mad things. It was like balancing out the left brain and the right brain.”
When Hill saw a competition to paint a signal box in Brisbane, it was the perfect opportunity for her to test her new hobby. “I got a pile of paints out and went and painted a signal box in public,” she said. “That was baptism by fire.” But it worked. Not only did Hill win the Traffic Stoppers award, she had many people wanting her work. “It was like this big door just went BANG, open,” she said. “And the next thing I knew I wasn’t sitting…writing computer software. I was up a ladder, wearing a pair of overalls…painting on a wall. And people were paying me to do it. I just thought, ‘Look at where you are girl, can you believe this.’ People are paying me to paint on a wall. It’s like every little girl’s childhood dreams.”
To create the accuracy which the Trompe Líoeil style demands, Hill has found herself doing mathematical calculations. “It sort of crosses over my maths and science background with art which is just hilariously good fun. I love the challenge; it makes me stretch and do something different.” Drawing inspiration from the world around her, Hill now works in a dream space she feels so blessed to have found. “Life’s a bit of a smorgasbord. And there are lots of lovely fun things to do. We’ve only got a short life so make the most of it.”
Hill has created a three dimensional world of realistic imagery, using paint and a brush to craft a realm that she shares with others.
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