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ARTIST INTERVIEW

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Simryn Gill: Gathering

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)

Duration

20 Nov 2008 to 22 Mar 2009

Guest Curator: Russell Storer

MCA Curatorial Liaison: Judith Blackall & Joel Mu

about the exhibtion

The work of Simryn Gill considers questions of place and history and how they might intersect with personal and collective experience. Born in Singapore in 1959, Gill lives in Sydney and Port Dickson, Malaysia. Using objects, language and photographs, her work conveys a deep interest in material culture and in the ways that meaning can transform and translate into different contexts. Through the reinterpretation or alteration of existing objects, the photographing of specific locations and the forming of collections, Gill contemplates how ideas and meanings are communicated between people, objects and sites.

Simryn Gill: Gathering explored these ideas through a selection of works from 2004-08. The exhibition included key photographic series such as Run, and the book-based installations Untitled and 32 Volumes, as well as Garland, a floor-based work that comprised objects collected from beaches in Malaysia and Singapore over almost a decade. Also featured were two new works, My own private Angkor, a suite of photographs taken in Port Dickson, and Inside, bronze sculptures cast from drought cracks in western New South Wales.

The exhibition also aimed to reveal Gill’s interest in methods of display and in the different ways in which people might experience art works. It contained a selection of books, sketches, collections and experimental pieces from the early 1990s to the present, some produced for exhibitions and others never intended as art. Together, they offered an insight into Gill’s artistic processes and her interest in art-making as an active engagement with the world.

A substantial book co-published by the MCA and German publisher Walther König accompanied the exhibition, providing an in-depth survey of the artist’s work that extended beyond the scope of the exhibition. It features a substantial selection of images, as well as texts on specific works and ideas pertinent to Gill’s practice, and a conversation with the artist.

Simryn Gill: Gathering toured to the following Australian venues:

  • Samstag Museum, South Australia: 7 Aug – 30 Oct 2009
  • Heide Museum of Modern Art, Victoria: 22 Apr – 18 Jul 2008
  • Queensland Art Gallery: 28 Aug – 17 Oct 2010
  • Artspace Mackay, Queensland: 5 Nov 2010 – 16 Jan 2011

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