Simryn Gill / Malaysia/Australia b.1959 / Forking tongues 1992 / Assorted cutlery with dried chillies / Purchased 2001. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © Simryn Gill

Simryn Gill
Forking tongues 1999

Not Currently on Display

Simryn Gill’s Forking tongues 1992 places cutlery and chillies in sequence to create a spiral. Gill employs the infinite form of the spiral as a symbol through which to reflect on the origins of materials.

The cutlery is of the ‘EPNS’ (electroplated nickel silver) variety, which adorned the dining tables of nations once colonised by Britain. South American chillies were introduced to South and South-East Asia, but have since become such an established part of the local culture that the chilli plant is often assumed to be native to the region. Gill often toys with the question of what is required for something to be considered ‘local’, or identified as a part of the indigenous. The open-ended spiral implies a sense of infinity, and the potential for mutation and change.

The work of Simryn Gill considers questions of place and history, and how they might intersect with personal and collective experience. Born in Singapore in 1959, Gill lives in Sydney and Port Dickson, Malaysia. Using objects, language and photographs, her work conveys a deep interest in material culture and in the ways that meaning can transform and translate into different contexts. Through the reinterpretation or alteration of existing objects, the photographing of specific locations and the forming of collections, Gill contemplates how ideas and meanings are communicated between people, objects and sites.