John Gerrard

Leaf Work

By Biennale of Sydney

23rd Biennale of Sydney: rīvus

Leaf Work (2020)Biennale of Sydney

About the participant

John Gerrard
Born 1974 in North Tipperary, Ireland
Lives and works in Dublin, Ireland

John Gerrard is widely regarded as a key figure in the development of simulation within contemporary art.

Deceptively looking like film or video, his works are virtual worlds, made using real-time computer graphics, a technology developed by the military and now used extensively in the gaming industry.

Leaf Work (2020) by John GerrardBiennale of Sydney

Leaf Work, 2020

John Gerrard’s Leaf Work (Derrigimlah) (2020) presents a lone figure, draped in leaves, moving across an empty landscape. As they slowly move, day turns to night, and seasons changes. 

Leaf Work (2020)Biennale of Sydney

The last, or perhaps the only one of their kind, this figure seems consigned to walk for eternity through this landscape. In times of escalating climate crisis they walk mournfully – head down and shoulders slumped – as if in sorrow.

Leaf Work (2020) by John GerrardBiennale of Sydney

Displayed on a monumental 6m x 6m LED wall set into a polished mirrored pavilion on Barangaroo headland, Gerrard has taken digital technology usually employed by the commercial gaming industry to create virtual worlds that simulate extremely detailed and authentic landscapes.

Leaf Work (2020) by John GerrardBiennale of Sydney

John Gerrard’s Leaf Work functions as a reminder and monument to loss, both in its subject matter and in the materials used to make it. 

Navigate around Stargazer Lawn on the Barrangaroo headland in Sydney, where John Gerrard's Leaf Work, 2020, was presented.

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