SIMRYN GILL’s work questions the coherence of systems that humans create to ‘know’ the world around them. Working with a myriad of materials, including books, plant materials, photographs and other found objects, she encourages the viewer to reject a rigid classification of their surroundings in favour of arrangements which offer uncertainty, disturbance and new possibilities.
For Untitled, SIMRYN GILL used books as a raw material, choosing words such as ‘because’, ‘vessel’, ‘always’, ‘jealous’, and ‘lull’, and removing them from the books to investigate if, and how, words lose or take on meaning when taken away from their intended structures and contexts. She developed and expanded the selection of words throughout the process of reading and searching each book. A delicate lattice-work is left of the pages from which the words have been hand-torn by Gill and three assistants. By removing words from books, the artist opens up new readings, evoking the complexities of world histories through the ways that the English language has filtered into different places. The word ‘vessel’, for example, immediately calls to mind a ship in British usage whereas in India it describes domestic food containers. By giving individual words a physical and sensual presence, she draws us to their sounds, patterns and visual symmetries.
☁ SIMRYN GILL @ TATE MODERN