Born in New Zealand, She combined writing and visual images from a very early age.
She attended Elam School of Art in Auckland – aged 17 – full time for three years in a design course. At 20 she left for Europe. On returning to New Zealand she exhibitiedin many group and solo shows, completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1986 in Photography and Printmaking at the University of Auckland
Among her early lecturers was Colin Mc Cahon at the Auckland Art Gallery. He remains an influence, as do Ralph Hotere, Rodney Fumpston and a number of also early Photographers, including Julia Margaret Cameron and Man Ray. She taught Painting, Drawing and Design and freelanced in photo-journalism-mainly on people in the arts
Her work – in both solo and group shows – appeared firstly under the names of Jill Carter and tafter 1963 Jill Stewart. In 1980 her name became Jill Carter-Hansen, combining both her adopted and birth names. Around this time she also designed and produced printed posters and cards to support the fund-raising for environmental and peace organisations.
In 1987 she moved to Sydney, Australia, freelancing as an illustrator and photographer and tutoring part-time at Randwick TAFE and at other Tertiary Art Institutes and Universities. Around this time three of her children’s books – written and illustrated – were published by Hodder and Stoughton and Random House in Sydney.
In 1990 she completed a Certificate in Animation, finishing her first film The Messenger in her studio in Darlinghurst,Sydney in 1992. It became the pre-feature for Derek Jarman’s Wittgenstein on that film’s release in Australia. Two more films followed, Songs of the Immigrant Bride and Eclipse supported by the New South Wales Film Office and the Australian Film Commission. These works – incorporating paintings drawings, collage and photography – were nominated for and won a number of awards.
She attained an MA (hons) in Fine Arts (University of Western Sydney)i n 1996. Between 1989 and 1997 she visited major Public Galleries on several trips to the US and Northern Europe while. presenting her work.
Carter-Hansen often combines mediums, both traditional and contemporary – using the more environmentally protective photo-polymer plate process when printmaking. She continues developing directions and ideas. Her work often incorporates digital processes.
“Both her paintings and photography are dramatic with rich use of images emerging from darkness…..and shadow is a major feature in her work. In other mediums, earlier images often depicted figures in dramatic performance of some kind, more surreal than literal. Her work now often appears more edgy and evocative, where the physical elements depicted – whether objects or figures – symbolise (through the juxtaposition of light and darkness,) the Invisible. A major theme of her work, is that of transition.”
Marie Geissler – International Arts Commentator 27/2/04