Jill Joubert’s Joyful Agency

 by Sindi-Leigh McBride

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A folktale must be recreated each time. At the core of the narrative is the storyteller.

Italo Calvino, Italian Folktales [1]

I started this essay looking for a golden thread to tie Jill Joubert’s biography to her artistic practice, convinced that there was a simple way to frame my curiosity about her work, to explain the delight derived from poring over photos of her puppet-sculptures. While contemplating critical ways to situate her work, I continued to take pleasure in little things like the precision of simple mechanisms springing apparently-dead wood into action and the fantastic footnotes throughout her thesis submission for her Master of Fine Art degree, an interpretation and transformation of the Italian fairy tale, Apple Girl.

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