(Singapore, Malaysia, Australia 1959– )
9 photographs: each 53.8 x 25.0cm image; 28.1 x 57.0cm frame
Simryn Gill was born in Singapore in 1959 and currently lives and works in Sydney, Australia and Port Dickson, Malaysia. Since 1991 her work has been exhibited extensively and included in numerous Australian and international periodicals such as the 2006 publication ‘Vitamin Ph: a global survey of new developments in contemporary photography’. She has participated in major biennales world wide since the mid 1990s. Gill is a two time recipient of the Australia Council Fellowship grant and has undertaken several residencies including those at Queensland Art Gallery (2005), CCA Kitakyushu (2000) and ArtPace, San Antonio (1999).
Run, also known as Pulau Run, is one of the Banda (Spice) Islands in the Maluku Province of Indonesia. Gill travelled there in 2006 and recorded the journey with her panoramic camera. This series of nine black and white and colour photographs documents the approach to, exploration of and departure of the artist from the island. The reason for the journey was to explore a place which, in the 17th century, was one of the chief sources of nutmeg, then a highly prized commodity in Europe. Run was a key outpost of the British East India Company but following the Anglo-Dutch wars in 1667 the two countries exchanged various territories: the English gave up Run and gained New Amsterdam, now known as Manhattan.
Shifting fortunes, changes in values – these emanate from this series of nine photographs which are classically composed depictions of a journey, a destination and the ironies of change. Run still produces nutmeg though in the 21st century the spice is virtually worthless. Manhattan however is one of the major centres of global power.