Fiona Hall: Force Field (selected works)

Fiona Hall: Force Field (selected works), presents the work by one of Australia’s leading and most inventive artists. Curated by Gregory O’Brien, Paula Savage (City Gallery Wellington) and Vivienne Webb (Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney), Fiona Hall: Force Field (selected works) includes two major new works inspired by Hall’s recent time in New Zealand.
Fiona Hall


Adelaide-based Hall is not only renowned for her imagination but for her profound fascination with the wonders and complexities of nature. Her work highlights humanity’s increasingly problematic relationship with the environment.

“In my art I am finding ways of bringing together the astounding, magical, uplifting world with the very sobering realisation that we are putting that world in peril,” says Hall.

Hall transforms everyday materials and objects, incorporating a diverse array of techniques that are often domestic in their origins. In Mourning Chorus, 2007-08, plastic containers with attached replica bird beaks are integrated into a startling coffin-shaped display case, as a lament for New Zealand’s extinct birds. In her most well known series of works (Paradisus terrestris 1998-99), sardine tins are reconfigured into miraculous sculptures that reference bodily, ecological and botanical concerns.

Also on view will be Fiona Hall’s 2007 public garden installation, Mown, which inhabits the nearby Pukaka memorial park in New Plymouth and addresses its fraught political and environmental history.

Govett-Brewster Director Rhana Devenport says;

“This selection of powerful key works from the touring exhibition – especially chosen for Govett-Brewster audiences – reflects Hall’s passionate and meticulous investigation of the biological world and the severe environmental pressures that humanity continues to place upon it. Throughout her global interrogations, the work of the hand holds a profound place of value.

Additionally, the artist’s time in Aotearoa in recent years has generated a strong body of work addressing endangered and extinct species, as well as the plants and animals of Gondwanan ancestry, those shared historically across ancient Australian and Aotearoan lands.

Fiona Hall casts her net of perception to encompass biological systems, post-colonialism readings of nature, strategies of living and sustainability issues through her extraordinarily beautiful sculptural forms.”

Born in Sydney in 1953, Fiona Hall established herself as an important Australian photographer in the 1970s and then widened her practice to include sculpture and installation. In 1997 she received the Contempora 5 Art Award and in 1999 the prestigious Clemenger Art Award. She was appointed to the Advisory Council of the Australian National University’s Centre for the Mind in 1998. Hall has exhibited widely in Australia and internationally, and is represented in every major public collection in Australia. Hall exhibits internationally and regularly undertakes commissions, research and residences with organisations including the Australian National University, National Gallery of Australia, Asialink, Adelaide Botanical Garden, Australian Museum, Queensland Museum and the Queensland Brain Institute.

Fiona Hall: Force Field (selected works) opens on 4 April and was made possible with the assistance of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney and City Gallery Wellington. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue.

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery