Critical Spatial Practice

At Metro Arts Gallery in Meanjin Brisbane a panel explores economic, cultural and political drivers behind project concepts in the exhibition 'Conversations on Shadow Architecture'. Nick Barker, professor of strategy and sustainability at Griffiths University opens the panel with a short talk, followed by Q&A with Clare Kennedy of architecture studio Five Mile Radius and exhibition curator Ineke Dane.

Australia Exhibition

Conversations on Shadow Architecture

Oct. 2021. In and beyond the frame of Critical Spatial Practice, Conversations on Shadow Architecture is presented by Metro Arts public gallery in Meanjin Brisbane Australia. Across two gallery spaces, the multidisciplinary exhibition presents work by international and Australian artists: Tarik Ahlip, Heba Y. Amin, Richard Bell, Lauren Brincat, Five Mile Radius, Gill Gatfield, Dale Harding, Fionnuala Heidenreich, HWKN, Simon James Phillips, Valentina Karga, Nicolas Kisic Aguirre, Anri Sala.

Curated by Ineke Dane | Supported by: Arts Queensland & Australia Council for the Arts
Image: Gill Gatfield, Multiple Choice (Carrara marble, Indian granite, 90mmH x 500mm Dia.)

Conversations on Shadow Architecture 2021 CATALOGUE 


International Group show

Re-imaging Cultural, Social & Political Spaces

Presented first in Chicago, the arched glass Ally Sloper heads next to Australia along with the stone x-figure Multiple Choice recently featured at the 2021 Aotearoa Art Fair. These sculptures form part of the exhibition ‘Conversations on Shadow Architecture’ by curator Ineke Dane, opening in Brisbane in October and in Sydney next year. Artworks and texts by artists, architects and academics question and reimagine cultural, social and political spaces. Contributors include Indigenous Australian artists Dale Harding and Richard Bell, Berlin based Anri Sala, Heba Y. Amin and Valentina Karga, New York architects HWKN and Yale Professor Keller Easterling, a leading theorist on critical spatial practice.

Brisbane: METRO Arts, Opening 2 Oct– 30 Oct 2021 
Sydney: Dominik Mersch Gallery 27 May – 25 June 2022

Inclusive Monuments

Native Tongue XR at Storm King

In fading light at Storm King in upstate New York, one of the largest collections of outdoor sculpture in the world, a virtual Native Tongue stands beside Ursula von Rydingsvard’s Luba. Two bookends mapping human progress and geological time – Luba’s rough sawn cedar and cast bronze figure faces the silk-grained alter ego of an ancient kauri text, in extended reality, an Other I. In the wooded parkland, they made bookends also in abstraction – one fluid yet solid and dripping, the other formal and ephemeral, rising up from the ground.

An-other purpose arose from the 2019 staging. On the Storm King map, of 82 artists in the permanent collection including long-term loans, only fifteen artists were women – 18 percent. The transient companion witnessed another type of presence and absence, became a number to be counted, and in the making, momentarily nudged the proportion of womxn artists closer to 20 percent.

Image: Gatfield, Storm Queen 2020
(Ursula von Rydingsvard, Luba and Native Tongue XR - Storm King NY) 
limited edition photograph

Data: Gatfield, 'Inclusive Monuments' NZ Feminist Art Journal Femisphere Vol 4 2021


Solo Exhibition

Aotearoa NZ Solo Show

April-May 2021 – In Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland  NZ at Scott Lawrie Gallery: "This impressive exhibition highlights a specially curated selection of artworks, with new sculptures presented alongside key pieces created over two decades of Gill Gatfield's practice. Each sensory work represents a building block in the artist's oeuvre. Combined, the Survey creates a meta narrative about time, humanity and place that is both inquisitive and visionary".


International Sculpture Exhibition

'Native Tongue XR' launched in Australia

March 2021. Presented for the first time at Sculpture by the Sea Cottesloe in Western Australia, the ancient kauri digital sculpture 'Native Tongue XR' speaks to the fast approaching future of interactive technology – bringing the private world of personal digital devices into a shared experience of public space. Visitors encircle and explore the 3m/10ft. high extended reality sculpture at full scale, and see the rich grain of the heartwood of this giant tree buried in Aotearoa NZ at the end of the last Ice Age. An ephemeral form shaped as the pronoun ‘I’ and numeral One, Native Tongue XR speaks of primacy, spirit figures, and other worlds. It is the alter-ego, an ‘other I’, encouraging human reflection on our connections with ancestors, country, community and environment.

The biennial sculpture exhibition near Perth attracts over 200,000 visitors, and in 2021 presents 70 new sculptures by artists from Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Denmark, Netherlands, UK, Switzerland, Czechia, Slovakia, USA, Australia and NZ.

The Snake Charmer

'Magnetic' artwork

Feb 2021. "At the Aotearoa Art Fair, The Snake Charmer raises the bar and acts as a reminder about the magnetic pull of a work of art as an object and its potency for mystery and imagination. The Snake Charmer is absolutely the right work of art to remind us also about the attraction of an art object as representative of a great idea to be uncovered/discovered, and that this is the pull/attraction of the visitor numbers and the enthusiasm for attending the Art Fair." Dr Warren Feeney, NZ Art Historian and Editor, Art Beat

NZ Art Fair

Aotearoa Art Fair - 'The Snake Charmer'

Feb 2021. New Zealand's international Auckland Aotearoa Art Fair features The Snake Charmer in the inaugral Sculpture Space on the waterfront overlooking the America's Cup yachts and glistening harbour. The granite sculpture embodies the form of the first person, the number One, and the declaratory First. Set within a circular garden of healing native plants based on Rongoā Māori, the sculptural tableau draws audiences in to contemplate and touch. Like a siren or guardian, The Snake Charmer watches over land and sea.

Creative Revolution

Welcome to the Creative Revolution!

Dec. 2020. International art commission platform CODAworx has recognised NZ artist Gill Gatfield as one of 25 Creative Revolutionaries: ‘exemplary leaders of positive change in the field of commissioned art - to celebrate, to learn from, to set the bar.’ In an online panel 'Welcome to the Creative Revolution!', Gill joins three other Creative Revolutionaries to discuss her multi-media sculpture practice and share strategies and ideas with an audience from across the globe, exploring how to make public art that activates change.


International Conference

Intersection of Art, Technology & Place

Sept/Oct 2020. At CODAsummit Virtual 2020 Gill Gatfield presents 'Native Tongue - A Taonga / Treasure', exploring how creative use of digital technology is redefining and expanding the fields of sculpture and public art. In an alchemy of old and new, the artist carved the totemic 3m/10ft high sculpture Native Tongue from a prehistoric wood recovered from a native forest which was buried at the end of the last Ice Age in Aotearoa New Zealand. Seeking to extend the ideas, form and mana of Native Tongue, she created the sculpture's alter-ego using state-of-the-art extended reality tools to realise Native Tongue XR, a spirit figure that can travel the world.


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