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Gill Gatfield

New Zealand artist Gill Gatfield creates abstract-conceptual artworks in physical and virtual realms. Using an alchemy of light, matter, space and time, she transforms unique and precious materials (ancient stones, rare timbers, crystal-clear glass, fibre and native grass) into minimalist first-forms. Both atavistic and futuristic, her abstract figures and monochromatic fields embody poetic narratives, probe philosophical and political conditions, and stimulate sentient and sensory realms.

Gill holds Bachelor of Laws and Masters of Fine Arts (Hons) degrees from University of Auckland. She was artist in residence at KØN Museum Denmark 2015, Vermont Studio Centre 2019, Ionion Center for Arts & Culture 2023, and Poison Creek Sculpture Project 2023. Her work has been presented on four continents and has won national and international recognition, and public art commissions for site-sensitive work. Awards include Arts Council of New Zealand Global Digital New Work Project, CODAworx Creative Revolutionary, Sculpture Fellow Vermont Studio Center, and NZ Woman of Influence.

Exhibitions include UNESCO Geopark Kefalonia & Ithaca Greece 2023, Venice Art Biennale 2022, Kunstverein am Rosa Luxemburg Platz Berlin 2022, Conversations on Spatial Architecture Brisbane/Sydney 2021-22, Sculpture by Sea Perth Sydney 2021, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018, Blueprint for Better Cities A18 New York 2018, SCAPE Public Art 2016, KØN Museum Denmark 2015, Sculpture by Sea Denmark 2015, and Chicago Sculpture International 2014.

Website and links: IG / FB @gillgatfield


Radical Monuments

An investigation into the potential of AI infused digital monuments as mechanisms for radical consciousness and individual and collective agency in the public realm.

With AI bringing fresh scope for customisation and responsiveness to augmented and mixed reality objects and experiences, the problematic present and communal potential of monuments is opened to debate. In the public domain, be it institutional in the form of the museum or ‘free’ public space, the social, economic and political foundations of the monument archetype occupies contested ground. Add digitised forms and media into this equation and the field of public art becomes ripe for disruption and innovation.

Where AR and MR sculptures in public realms challenge the previous givens of physics, object permanence, and geo-political purpose, the addition of AI tooling in AR/MR adds new facets of fluidity. The digital object and user experience will be shaped and reshaped endlessly through AI-fuelled content, object placement, geolocation, real-time animation, object/image/body tracking, real-time responsiveness, adaptive narratives, user interaction analysis, and more. Marked by endless personalisation, in this scenario, is the public monument no longer public, and instead a monument to self? Will this predicted circularity defeat the object’s purpose of being in service of something or someone else? Or, will it enhance the monument’s potential to mitigate its own risks, being ineffective, a relic that alienates individuals and communities in public space?

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