After bursting on to the Sydney art scene less than five years ago, Georgia has seemed to only accelerate her fastening momentum, becoming synonymous with public art. Draping mammoth walls with her wildly experimental compositions, the signature characteristics of her work are unmistakable and unmissable. Stark black and white lines interconnect and splash across fractured textures, with cyclic patterns colliding with indiscriminate contours, and bold type punctuating numerous pieces.
It is no surprise then that the rest of the world is starting to take notice. Having being featured in the ABC docu-series The Wanderers, participating in the New Zealand based art project Sea Walls and recently completing the Joya: AiR artist residency, Georgia Hill has literally taken the tremendous scale of her art to a global level.
We caught up with Georgia to ask her about her time abroad, her recent work and her upcoming solo show “I Can See It, Can’t You”.
With creating large-scale murals, and the travel I’ve been doing for the last two years, my work has been driven by introspection (thank you long flights!), feelings of being very slow and then fast, and pressures to create works quickly in outdoor settings. I really like that while an element of mural works can be planned, a lot of it is about reacting or taking elements you see, these micro and macro details and impressions that shape not just how we move but also come to contain what we’re feeling too.
I really look heavily to architecture, as well as the break down of man-made elements through natural causes, fragments of conversations, how a shadow can break up what’s in front of you, just being consious and aware really. This new show is a more controlled, considered take, where conversations and moments can be shared but will always be shaped by our own details and varied contexts.
Interacting with other artists has been really huge for me, as this mural work especially is about communities and people you meet, whether it’s other artists, the public who see your work, or a particular group it really resonates with. Residencies have been an amazing chance to met other artists who aren’t in my imediate world, and who also have their own very rich and varied experiences that have become their own major focus. The more I meet and talk with other artists the more confidence I have in my own work, and also in scaling this down again to control a single message, rather than the layered meaning and contexts that exists with works in public spaces.
I haven’t had an actual solo show in just over two years, as large-scale works really became my goal and are still something I want to keep exploring in an even bigger installations. These large works are often completed with tight deadlines, you’re working against the weather, and it can be very physically demanding, and I wanted to see how my work will develop again in a more controlled, smaller scale way.
Walls are very forgiving in terms of solving where elements will sit, technique etc, but it’s tough to experiment and explore new ideas on a 30m scale, so to bring things down to a manageable studio setting has been really enjoyable but also really challenging in a way I didn’t expect – there’s no context of a location or community to riff off or a set shape to build your work into, so creating works from a literal blank canvas is something I really had to get my head around again.
Large scale mural works force me to give up a few perfectionist tendencies, so it’s been really amazing to be able to focus on really controlling these works for a studio context. There are compositions, details and more refined, simple approaches and repeated elements I’ve been waiting to develop, which I feel I can only really do in smaller scales. So to spend a few months solely focused on this and developing my work further has been really interesting and challenging, and also makes me excited to see how it will play out in both studio-based and large scale pieces.
I’ve got a whole lot of travel still on the cards, with works in Perth, Sydney, the Gold Coast and Adelaide, then I need a month off before the new year and a new solo show early in Melbourne for 2019!
“I Can See It, Can’t You” opens this Friday at China Heights (16/28 Foster St, Surry Hills).
For more on Georgia can be found here.