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ARTIST INTERVIEW

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Simryn Gill

A Long Time Between Drinks 2005-2009

Museum of Contemporary Art, purchased with funds provided by the Coe and Mordant families, 2010

off set prints, archive box

H 36.5 W 36cm
H 33.4 W 33cm
H 30 W 30cm
H 35.5 W 35.5 D 2.8cm

About the Artwork

Simryn Gill has a diverse practice, including making photographs, sculptures and collections, and writing and drawing. Her works are frequently informed by ideas about place and the passing of time – from her mournful photographs of abandoned buildings across Malaysia (Standing Still, 2000-03); to sculptural works created from found objects and consumer detritus, collected by the artist and assembled into new and poetic formations; to hand-beaded necklaces configured from the pages of books that the artist sources from friends and colleagues, then gives them back to wear (Pearls, 1999-ongoing).

A Long Time between Drinks comprises 13 black-and-white photographs housed within a purpose-designed archival box. It reflects on Gill’s arrival in Australia from Malaysia in the late 1980s, settling in Adelaide and raising her family there. In the photographs, Gill retraces her steps through the suburbs of Adelaide, documenting the house in which she used to live, the garden she planted there, and the route she walked to her children’s school each morning. As a piece about human memory and time’s passing, the work is subtle in its references and does not explicitly describe each image as such – they are, rather, quiet evocations of a time and place that bear private meaning for the artist. The work’s title moreover suggests the idea of re-visitation – of looking back, and sampling again a significant moment in time.

References

Rachel Kent (curator), Statement of Significance, Museum of Contemporary Art, 2010

Simryn Gill

– About the artist

b.1959

Born in Singapore, Simryn Gill divides her time between Sydney and Port Dickson, Malaysia. Her artistic practice dates from the early 1990s and her work has been exhibited widely both in Australia and overseas. In 2003 she was the recipient of an Australia Council Fellowship.

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