Frame of Mind: Mental health and the arts (NAS)


 May, June and July, 2021


Psychoanalytic ideas have long played a role in the work of Tarryn Gill. With a practice encompassing sculpture, photography, video, theatre set/costume design and performance she is interested in exploring the liminal space between the personal and the collective, the contemporary and the ancient. Her aesthetics and materials are heavily informed by her background in competitive calisthenics and dance from the age of 5 to 25. Her art making processes now mine this source material to assert the value of the feminine and personal against the masculine model of genius that has defined much of art history.



In recent years Gill’s work has become increasingly concerned with her reflections on self-understanding and growth. Inspired by Carl Jung’s Active Imagination process she has leant into a more intuitive approach that delves into the psychological, using making as a bridge between the conscious and the unconscious. Of her series The Tricksters, she says that they are “are a swarm of shape-shifting figures made during a phase of uncertainty and change. They are hand-stitched animal familiars merging into self-portraits –attempts to give shape to the terrifying figures that would appear in my recurring dreams at the time. I identified them as Jung’s archetype of the Trickster – a character fond of malicious pranks who can also appear as a saviour. The process was an attempt to confront my fear, making the figures visible and defined in a way I could further understand them and their message.” She describes the creation of these works as a process of “meeting myself through art making”.



Through solo and collaborative practices and her partnership with Pilar Mata Dupont, Gill has exhibited and undertaken residencies across Australia, Argentina, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, UK and US. She has held solo exhibitions at the Art Gallery of South Australia, at Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert, Sydney and has exhibited works in the 2016 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, in the 17th Biennial of Sydney, at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, and the Akademie der Ku╠łnste, Berlin. She is represented by Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert.

June 3, 2021
of 133