The interview starts at approximately 53:00 minutes
This week on FORUM we have the incredible and delightful Jill Orr, talking with us about performance art and her decades of experience as an artist.
Since the 1970s, Jill Orr has delighted, shocked and moved audiences through her performance installations that she has presented in Paris, Beijing, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Antwerp, New York, Toronto, Quebec City, Graz, Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane.
Jill’s work centres on environmental and social issues of the psyche, where she draws on land and identities as they are shaped by the environment, be it country or urban localities. Jill’s early iconic work Bleeding Trees led to commissions such as Marriage of the Bride to Art, Raising the Spirits, Exhume the Grave, Hunger, The Myer Windows, The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, Goya and Ash, to name only a few works that have contributed to the cultural landscape of contemporary art. Jill’s art focuses and grapples with the balance and discord that exists at the heart of relations between the human spirit, art, and nature.
In 2012, Jill was represented in the inaugural Venice International Performance Art Week, where she presented a performance called The Promised Land to international acclaim. She has since been one of ten international performance artists to perform at the 2014 Bipolar Performance Art Meeting in Sopot, Poland, and she has mesmerised audiences with her work for the 2014 MAP Festival, Melaka, in Malaysia.
Jill is a recent recipient of the Australia Council Fellowship and has completed her latest body of work, Antipodean Epic, which has been developed from site-specific performative photographs and videos which culminated as a live performance for the 2015 Mildura Palimpsest Biennale. In 2016, the work was re-imagined for the Lorne Sculpture Biennale and the Belo Horizonte Biennale in Brazil.
Jill’s 2019 work, Laundry was presented in Temporal Proximities curated by Kelli Alred at the Abbotsford Convents Magdalen Laundries. At the same site, a few weeks later, Dark Night was installed and performed as part of the program highlights for the Dance Massive Festival.
Jill’s performances are documented in fine-art photography and film that have been acquired as part of the collections at the National Gallery of Victoria, The National Gallery of Australia, Mildura Art Gallery, Geelong Art Gallery, Redgate Gallery in Beijing and numerous other organisations in Australia and abroad.
With a Master of Fine Arts from RMIT, a PhD in Art and Design from Monash University and currently a Senior Lecturer in Visual Art and Performance, Arts Academy at Federation University in Ballarat, Jill is one of Australia’s creative legends.
“Jill Orr is a fiery artist, and her work expresses the beauty, power and spiritual depth that is her trademark.” – Helen Vivian.
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Text & Photos: Jill Orr | Edited: Lee-Ann Joy