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'Are we free to live gently and playfully despite, or because of, the complex structures that hold us?'
Jenny Gill Shirmer assemblage found objects yellow

Gentle Structure

Northern Rivers Community Gallery, Ballina 2022

When I was younger I thought the structure of institutions was dictated by the solid – sometimes grand buildings that housed them. They conveyed an importance, gravitas. School had arches and staircases. Hospitals had impressive foyers and grand staircases. It served to give a sense of permanence and seriousness. The people in here know what they are doing…. Someone is in charge.

Homes were solid… as solid as the family structure and foundation. Adults were certain of their role and where they belonged.


Now I’m the adult. I’m in charge and uncertainty is everywhere. Has the world changed or it is just me?

Gentle structure is investigating the properties of physical structures that I have felt secure in and evoking (for me) hints of nostalgia where for a moment I can sense the institutions are holding me safely. This exhibition is a quiet contemplation of whether we are free to live gently and playfully despite, or because of, these complex structures that hold us.

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Jenny Gill Schirmer is a contemporary Australian artist whose practice is founded in studio-based research and material investigation in the fields of sculpture, ceramics, painting and assemblage.

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