Samdani Art Foundation

GROUND | 2016



February 5-8, 2016  |  SIMRYN GILL  |  Dhaka Art Summit

Simryn Gill, Ground, 2016. Commissioned and produced by the Samdani Art Foundation for the Dhaka Art Summit 2016. Courtesy of the artist, Dhaka Art Summit, Samdani Art Foundation and Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai. Photo credit: Jenni Carter

Simryn Gill makes poetic links between art, paper, books, and nature in her work; all begin with seeds that grow roots. The idea of roots can be abstracted into square roots in mathematics, roots of language, roots of belonging, and seeds to seeding ideas and to the ability to traverse manmade ideas of border. Gill shares, “for me, plants and the plant work offer a powerful way to think about where we find ourselves now and how we grow into and adapt to our sense of place. There is a line from one of [William] Blake's poems in his Songs of Innocence, ‘and we are put on earth a little space'. That little space is not a bit of geography anymore, but it seems to be literally the physical room we occupy with our bodies as we carry ourselves around trying to make sense of how to stake claims on constantly shiing grounds.” Reflecting on the slippery concept of place years later, Gill elaborated that “I came to understand place as a verb rather than a noun, which exists in our doings: walking, taking, living.”

In an unpublished text in 2012, she continues this train of thought, “If you are empty, nothing, you only exist through the things around you, and if these things shift in their qualities and values, in relation to you, each other and other things, then the sense of self is always moving too. And the other way around: when I am the vector that is moving, then the things around me change, and my relationship to them too, how I do or don't connect, comprehend, sympathise. These are the un-static beacons we use to navigate through daily being.”