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Meet the Artist #1: Gill Baldwin

From the Neighbourhood letter December 2023, by Lobke

Gill Baldwin (1992, Canada)

living and working on Wolphaertstraat since April 2021

How are you doing? And what are you up to these days?

I am adjusting to colder and darker days :/// I am working on an inflatable sculpture that breathes for the upcoming Art Rotterdam Prospects exhibition early next year. I am also working some other jobs to stay afloat financially.

What kind of art do you make? And which themes are you concerned with?

I make paintings and sculptures, and especially like to make kinetic (moving or mechanical) sculptures. I'm really inspired by technology and its effect on our lives and the increasing surveillance and privacy issues that surround us.

You work with various materials. How do you determine your technique and do you prefer a certain technique?

I am still figuring out my technique! I find everything interesting and have so many projects and techniques in my mind, I find it very difficult to concentrate on just one. With my work Rolling Landscapes I had a concept that I want to illustrate that is very abstract and then I work to make it tangible and experiential for a viewer. I usually prototype by myself until I get to a point where my knowledge and skill set is at its limit, then I search for and work with "an expert" who consults with me or helps me build a part of the work.

You were born and raised in Canada. Since when have you lived here and (how) does living in the Netherlands influence your work?

A big fascination for me is how the landscape of the Netherlands is very controlled, maintained, and even created from scratch. Canada's landscape is very wild and often dangerous, so our perspectives of what a landscape can be are very different. That theme pops up in my work often like in As Seen in Nature where a machine is simulating the blowing of grass in the wind. It's very relaxing to watch. :)

Where do you get your inspiration for your work?

I get my inspiration from everyday life or feelings I get through my lived experiences, these somehow get translated into ideas. Currently I am trying to schedule myself a lot more with online tools and I am thinking about how it's a type of self-surveillance and obsessing over what Google is doing with my data, I think a new work might come out of this, but who knows!

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