67. Gill Gatfield - Artist Influence

67. Gill Gatfield - Artist Influence


Gill Gatfield, a New Zealand-based artist, often works with sculpture and installation art. Her works often embrace minimalistic designs but hold layers of meanings that involve abstract ideas, natural materials, and human experiences.

Her use of diverse materials, ranging from native stone to glass, challenges traditional sculptural paradigms. While her works primarily embody tactile, physical experiences, she does not shy away from utilising technology as an enabler. Gatfield embraces technology in her creative process, using it for precision in design, research, and presentation. Digital tools aid her in conceptualising ideas, exploring geometric complexities, and producing scaled models. Moreover, technology plays a role in amplifying the reach of her work. Through online platforms, virtual galleries, and digital media, the resonance of her pieces reaches a global audience. Thus, while Gatfield's art remains deeply rooted in physicality and raw materials, technology seamlessly integrates into her process, enhancing precision, conceptualisation, and dissemination.

  1. Minimalism and Purity: Gatfield often uses simple, stark forms to convey her ideas. These minimalist designs serve as a blank canvas for viewers to project their interpretations.
  1. Engagement with Nature: Many of Gatfield's works incorporate natural materials, such as stone, grass, and native plants. This engagement with nature often reflects the interplay between humans and the environment.
  1. Interplay of Opposites: Gatfield's works often juxtapose contrasting elements, like rough and smooth surfaces or dark and light colors, to express tensions, dualities, or balance.
  1. Cultural and Social Critiques: Several of her pieces, like her 'Zealandia' sculpture, delve into societal issues, particularly those relevant to New Zealand, such as colonialism, gender dynamics, and identity.
  1. Tactility: The choice of materials in Gatfield's works often invites touch or evokes a sense of tactility, bridging the gap between the viewer and the artwork.
  1. Intimacy and Scale: Even though some of her pieces might be monumental in size, there's an inherent intimacy in the way they engage with the viewer. They beckon closer inspection and personal reflection.
  1. Abstract Representation: Gatfield's works are often abstract, devoid of any overt narrative or imagery. This abstraction provides room for viewers to derive personal meanings and feelings from her pieces.
  1. Feminist Undertones: Many of her artworks explore themes related to femininity, women's rights, and the female experience. Her pieces often make subtle or overt feminist statements.
  1. Spirituality: There's a meditative, almost spiritual quality in Gatfield's works. They evoke contemplation and a sense of wonder, suggesting deeper connections to existence and the universe.
  1. Engagement with Space: Her installations are not just about the object but how it interacts with its environment. The spatial dynamics, shadows, and surrounding elements become a part of the art experience.

Gill Gatfield's art is a rich blend of minimalistic designs embedded with profound meanings, societal critiques, and a strong connection to nature and femininity. Her works invite introspection and encourage viewers to derive their interpretations.


Gill Gatfield's artwork exhibits ecofeminist characteristics through the following aspects:

  1. Material Choices Reflecting Nature and Femininity: Gatfield often uses natural and sustainable materials in her sculptures, such as native woods and stones. This choice not only shows a respect for the environment but also symbolically connects the inherent qualities of these materials with femininity and nurturing, key themes in ecofeminism.
  2. Exploration of Gender and Environmental Issues: Her works frequently delve into themes of gender identity and environmental conservation, intertwining these concepts. By doing so, Gatfield's art reflects the ecofeminist perspective that the exploitation of nature and the oppression of women are interconnected issues that need to be addressed together.
  3. Promotion of Harmony and Balance: Many of Gatfield's pieces are designed to evoke a sense of harmony and balance between humanity and nature, as well as between genders. This aligns with ecofeminist ideals that advocate for a more symbiotic relationship with the natural world and a more equitable society that values both feminine and masculine principles equally.

On her recent work Halo, taken from her website: Defying physics, HALO appears out of the ether through the Metaverse, an ancient stone circle and a futurist monument. Its ephemeral presence disperses sun- and moon-light, evoking celestial haloes which form part of intersecting cosmologies and ancient weather lore. Suspended as if under a spell and held by the gravitational pull of the moon, the virtual monument honours the deep past and conjures new possibilities.

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