press release

This major solo exhibition presents the work of leading Sydney-based Malaysian artist, Simryn Gill. Featuring objects, books, collections, photographs and text pieces from the last six years, it reveals the artist’s pursuit of meaning through materials, forms and ways of working. Gill’s work considers questions of place and history, and how they might intersect with personal and collective experience.

An MCA touring exhibition, it has been expanded to include the Australian premiere of Gill’s major work Throwback and additional recent works. The artist will also make a pamphlet which will reflect on the gardens at Heide.

Throwback (2007) was originally produced for the documenta 12 exhibition in Kassel, Germany, in 2007. It reworks the inner machinery of a 1985 Tata truck, which had spent its working life plying the roads of Malaysia. Tata is an Indian vehicle manufacturer that began manufacturing trucks in 1954, using a design licenced from the German company Daimler Benz, which has a truck factory in Kassel. With the economic rise of China and India, a voracious market for scrap metal has developed, hastening the disappearance of particular objects. Gill recovers the modern forms of the truck parts by casting them in natural materials found near her studio in Port Dickson, including river mud, coconut husks, reconstituted termite mounds and fruit skins.

Several works in the exhibition invite audience participation. Paper Boats asks us to interact with a 1968 Encyclopaedia Brittanica, by tearing a selected page and using the sheet to make an origami boat. Another work, Garland (2006) encourages us to hold, touch and rearrange objects collected by Gill on the beaches of Port Dickson, Malaysia, and the islands off Singapore – fragments reshaped by sea and sand that take on almost organic form.

only in german

Simryn Gill
Kurator: Russell Storer