From Sharne Wolff…
If you weren’t able to sail into Venice for last year’s 55th Biennale, On the Shelf provides the first chance to catch an extract from the Australian contribution. Biennale artist Simryn Gill’s site-specific show titled Here Art Grows on Trees was comprised of several parts and famously encompassed a roofless Australian pavilion (prior to its eventual demolition). The original suite of Gill’s Eyes and Storms series of photographs shown here are aerial images of brooding and alien Australian landscapes. Included are scenes of scarred territories like pit mines and remote waterholes, both the result of wanton resource extraction. As mining has increased in global economic importance, its social and environmental consequences have brought a growing sense of community unease, brewing the conditions for a perfect environmental storm. Gill’s art has always actively engaged with the environment and by making these abstract notions visual, her images gently expose this tension. It’s a concept that doesn’t sound overly romantic, but Gill’s imperfect landscapes – like the eyes of the earth – are things of quiet and contemplative beauty.
Although the original was purchased by Victoria’s Heide Museum of Modern Art, a miniature version of Gill’s steel sculpture Half Moon Shine is also on show together with a series of works on paper evolving from the Biennale’s Let’s Go Let’s Go series.
Until October 18
Utopia Art Sydney, Waterloo
Pic: Simryn Gill Eyes and Storms 1, 2012/13, Ilfochrome print, 125 x 125cm.Courtesy the artist and Utopia Art.