We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


(Photogram #4), from the series Clearing



Simryn Gill

Singapore, Malaysia, Australia

1959 –

Artist profile

  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    191.0 x 101.5 cm image/sheet
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Commissioned with funds provided by the Art Gallery of New South Wales Foundation 2021
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Simyn Gill

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    Artist information
    Simryn Gill

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Simryn Gill’s 'Clearing' remembers a 110-year-old Canary Island date palm tree that was removed in 2020 to make way for the Art Gallery’s new building. A plan to transplant the tree to another location was abandoned due to its infestation by coconut weevils and unlikely chances of surviving the replanting.

    Native to the Canary Islands off the north-western coast of Africa, these palms were once prized by horticulturists for their exotic and uniform appearance and their resilience. They were disseminated throughout the world along trade routes from the mid to late 19th century, including Australia, where they became a popular ornamental plant in parks and gardens, and later ubiquitous along streets. Today they are revered as a heritage tree, but also denigrated as an invasive species.

    To aid her understanding of the date palm’s significance within this society, Gill made a graphite rubbing of the Art Gallery tree’s trunk. Later, when the tree was condemned, she continued to record various facets of it, with processes that included photogram imaging and various forms of printing, in an attempt at communicating with the tree.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

    • From Here, for Now, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 05 Nov 2022–12 Feb 2023

Other works by Simryn Gill

See all 114 works