A room full of stories in winter colours (installation and performance detail), 2017, Jill Sampson

Jill Sampson

Bimblebox Art Project coordinator,
Curator of Bimblebox 153 Birds
Lives both in Brisbane and on her family’s farm near Maidenwell, Queensland, Australia.

My work encourages a re-examination of history and explores: environmental themes, both personal and collective histories, land use change and stories. I am an installation artist, sculptor and printmaker with a spatial practice. I often use objects and materials that provide a temporal connection through history, environment, people and place. Through further research I may uncover cultural, agricultural, historical or scientific information that informs my understanding and which I build into the artwork. 

Home for me is the little farm near the Bunya Mountains (Qld), on Kaiabara land. My art practice has roots in Arte Povera, Environmental Art and Expressionism. Yet the strongest influence is always the land, light and life-lines of that place.

What I’m working on:

Myeloma Ministrations
I continue to develop a body of artwork about my experience of the blood cancer called Myeloma. I was diagnosed in November 2020 after a slow deterioration of my health and loss of mobility. The world covid 19 pandemic has, for me and my family, also been a cancer story. And while this story is ongoing, I am now well enough to make work that will consolidate the ideas I had during the arduous and intense treatment periods. I have documented my experience of Myeloma with photographs, sound recordings and collected medical ephemera. These collected materials and images join with the very first objects I was able to make during treatment and materials from my home farm. The work encompasses works on paper, sculptural objects, installation and story triggers. Myeloma Ministrations explores usefulness/uselessness, loss, longing, medicalisation, physicality, renewal, rebirth, recovery, resilience and reality within my ongoing cancer journey.

Tracking El Niño
I am developing a new body of work to track the effects on the environment of my family farm as our weather pattern switches from La Niña into El Niño. How will this unfold and what will be the impact on my family farm, this place, its water, wildlife, plant ecosystems and us? With the devastating previous El Niño severe drought and fires still etched in our minds it is with trepidation we move back into this weather system. Weather predictions suggest a shockingly short period of equilibrium between March and May 2023, then a likely switch into El Niño.

This is intended to be an ongoing, many year project, potentially continuing through the rest of my life on the farm. I plan to document Tracking El Niño on social media with opportunities to exhibit the developing body of artwork at various points along the way. This project will be an evolving installation that will convey the experience of climate change on the environment and lived experience, in the area that my family farm encompasses.

Forms from the Vine Forest
Over this year I will be harvesting natural materials from an area of the farm where a lost fence line must be re-built. Clumps of vine forest have grown into a corridor where the previous fencing was destroyed in a long ago bush fire. Some of the vegetation that will need to be removed to rebuild this fencing I will re-envision and transform into sculptural forms.

Drought Papers
These works on paper were initially inspired by my view from an aeroplane window seat on a long ago flight home from Europe. The flight took me across Australia’s north western coast across the interior, to the east coast, arriving in Sydney. Through clear weather I gazed down for many hours at the shifting, changing landscape, much of it arid and dry. While these works began after this journey home, we have experienced severe droughts and bushfires over the intervening years. Drought Papers are both a celebration of this ancient land and a lamentation on the drying climate.