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b. 1959, Singapore

Simryn Gill Biography

Simryn Gill's methods include photographing, drawing, collecting, altering, casting and writing. The artist presents two works from the MCA Collection, Untitled (Interior) II, 2008, and Carbon Copy, 1998, at the 21st Biennale of Sydney. These works are separated by ten years and use profoundly different material and formal approaches, yet both arise from the close attention Gill pays to the ubiquitous and overlooked, and from her habitual process of harvesting materials and forms from her immediate environment.

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Untitled (Interior) II, 2008, is one of five bronze sculptures the artist cast from fissures in dry dams and creeks during the severe drought that affected South Eastern Australia between 2001 and 2009, described as 'the worst drought in 1000 years'. The initial silicon rubber casts were made near Nyngan and Lake George in NSW, and cast in bronze in Bangkok, Thailand, by Apisit Nongbuo, who comes from a family of bronze artists who have traditionally made ritual objects for temples.

Carbon Copy comprises 53 parts, including 26 typed texts and their carbon copies. The words and phrases feature statements by Australian politician Pauline Hanson and Malaysia's former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad regarding immigration and refugees. Phrases such as 'Do we want or need any of these people here?' and 'foreign miscreants and parasites' are referenced, as well as words including 'succumb', 'sincere', 'trust me', 'swamped', 'kowtowing' and 'assimilate'. It is not always clear who said what, but collectively the words generate a sense of panic that knows no borders.

Struck by the remarkably similar language used by both individuals, Gill extracted the words and represented them as typewritten and duplicated texts. The words are repeated without spacing and arranged in geometric blocks, creating a kind of abstraction in both meaning and form. The repetition of the typed words also creates warp and weft patterns, such as diagonal lines of the same letters: text as texture, or textile. It is as if these inflammatory phrases have become woven into the fabric of everyday life, and are now almost invisible and impossible to unpick.

Adapted from: Russell Storer, 'Simryn Gill', in Natasha Bullock (ed.), MCA Collection Handbook, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney, 2016

Tai Spruyt and Stephanie Berlangieri | Biennale of Sydney Exhibition Team | 2018

Simryn Gill Featured Artworks

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Studies from Maria's Garden: Bird of Paradise; Plum; Loquat & Persimmon by Simryn Gill contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, drawing
Simryn GillStudies from Maria's Garden: Bird of Paradise; Plum; Loquat & Persimmon, 2021Ink on paper. 1) 48.5 x 34.5 cm; 2) 69 x 49 cm; 3) 70.5 x 48 cm
Asia Art Archive
Water Drawing #17 by Simryn Gill contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, drawing
Simryn GillWater Drawing #17, 2021Ink on paper
32 x 84 cm
Jhaveri Contemporary Contact Gallery
Water Drawing #17 by Simryn Gill contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, drawing
Simryn GillWater Drawing #17, 2021Ink on paper
32 x 84 cm
Jhaveri Contemporary Contact Gallery
Water Drawing #17 by Simryn Gill contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, drawing
Simryn GillWater Drawing #17, 2021Ink on paper
32 x 84 cm
Jhaveri Contemporary Contact Gallery
Water Drawing #17 by Simryn Gill contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, drawing
Simryn GillWater Drawing #17, 2021Ink on paper
32 x 84 cm
Jhaveri Contemporary Contact Gallery
Water Drawing #17 by Simryn Gill contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, drawing
Simryn GillWater Drawing #17, 2021Ink on paper
32 x 84 cm
Jhaveri Contemporary Contact Gallery
Insomnia by Simryn Gill contemporary artwork sculpture
Simryn GillInsomnia, 2013Leaded glass
Beyer Projects Contact Gallery
Pressing In #67a by Simryn Gill contemporary artwork works on paper
Simryn GillPressing In #67a, 2016Ink on paper
67.5 x 21.5 cm
Not for sale
Para Site

Simryn Gill Recent Exhibitions

Simryn Gill Represented By

Simryn Gill In Ocula Magazine

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