Past Residencies

Gillian Dyson
December 2001

Click for larger image

My residency in Kellerberrin coincided with a great deal of agricultural activity associated with this time of the year, such as harvesting and shearing, and with the communal rituals of the return to school, change in sporting season and the build up to Christmas. I have been privileged to witness, and in some cases participate in these various aspects of community activity.

Through written, photographic and drawn 'sketches', and exchanges with local people or exposure to new experiences, I have tried to map out a momentary impression of the place.

Through memory and imagination this visual response comes from the personal experiences of a young woman artist working in private, in a small and unfamiliar town.

The art works are not literal depictions of 'rural life' but use metaphor to discuss the ways in which we all strive to control our lives. Whether that be how we landscape our land, discipline our animals, run our homes or style our bodies.

I question 'where we are' and how we 'know'? The art works are rooted in Kellerberrin but are part of a 'wider picture'.

They are about contradiction. Of being in the 'country' but finding little that is natural. They reflect the brutal yet beautiful aspects of the everyday, and endeavour to find poetry in the mundane.

The works are informed by a feeling of isolation and introspectiveness - whilst at the same time being made to feel welcome and familiar. (Perhaps aided by my familiar 'Englishness').

Some of the materials used or images presented have assumed iconic significance to people and place. (Wool, salt, flour, water, etc)

The art works can be read individually, but come together as one 'landscape' for you, the viewer, to explore.

Video captures 'glimpses' in an on-going, reparative process governed by the season or body rhythms. Live action and installation give an immediate sense of the autobiographical, (in some works the artist literally stands before you).
This approach enables the you to walk around the work and use your own experiences to inform your interpretation of the art works.

Gillian Dyson studied Fine Art in Sunderland, and at the Slade School, London. She Lives and works in Hull, East Yorkshire and is a lecturer in Fine Art at the Hull School of Art & Design. Gillian is a member of Hull Time Based Art artist's led initiative (where until, recently she was Project Co-ordinator). Gillian has exhibited her performance, video and installation work world wide, including New York, Bangkok, and Sydney.