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Selby Ginn| Artist in Shanghai Residency from March to May

Tuesday 03/02/15

Selby Ginn   Proposal Australia China Art  Foundation Arts Can Do Residency



I see the Arts Can Do Residency deeply enriching my professional art practice. It will enable me to research Chinese ritualistic culture and further my knowledge of leather and tanning, whilst building a cross-cultural dialogue around Australian and Chinese contemporary art. The Arts Can Do Residency program will allow me an opportunity to work with the children of the migrant workers of Shanghai in a relaxed and safe environment, where they are able to explore ideas of creativity, and have the freedom to ultimately learn about themselves and the world, this program is very exciting to me.




1. I would like to teach the children how to make a book(s). Enabling them to fill their book with imagery and/or write their own story, to create a narrative all of their own. My intention is to help them technically with the construction and guide where I can with the content, as each will be different.


2.  To construct a life-sized sculpture with the children and prepare material for its outer layer (skin).  We will construct the animal using a wire frame with a wooden armature and all participate in its final finishing. The type of animal will be discussed and planned during the previous (bookbinding) month, as I would ideally like this to be a group decision that all the children have a part in and of course participate in its fabrication from the start. It could be a mythical creature or a ‘real’ animal. This sculpture will become a permanent part of the ACAF collection at the end of my residency.




During this two month residency the skills I hope to introduce to the children would include the techniques of:  weaving, bookbinding, hand-sewing, leather work, eye/hand manipulative skills, wire armature construction, the sourcing and recycling of found materials and to encourage their individual ways to visualise and actualise their own personal narrative and visual expression.




3. The Arts Can Do Residency will also enable me to further my research into the historical imagery of Memento Mori (“Remember you must die,” or “Remember your death”). With this new body of work, I will combine my current ideas of Memento Mori  (such as Omnipresent Incarnate my Venice Biennale sculpture) with those that I hope to source from Chinese medicine and death ritual imagery whilst in China. These concepts will be incorporated into an installation using a leather vitrine, hand made leather objects and found objects.



Born: 1978, Devonport, Tasmania, Australia

Selby Ginn specialises in process-based and installation artworks, which combine found objects, sculpture, performance, painting and drawing.

Ginn’s practice is an interpretive visual language. It is a dialogue that describes the cycles of human experience and references time, the human form, mythology, ritual and symbols. Her installations often include suspended forms, which are intended to coalesce with the space, describing part of a cycle rather than an end point.

Drawing upon the idea of the cyclical experience of time and mortality, Ginn’s recent sculptures use the outer skin of leather hides, a material that undergoes this natural process. She re-appropriates the leather by cutting it, punching holes into it, and then weaving it onto sculptural forms, literally making one skin from many.

Ginn has been included in many international exhibitions including 200 Bullets at Aterspace in Chicago during an educational exchange with the Chicago Institute of Art in the USA in 2005.

In 2010, Ginn participated in Paper Journeys: Scrolls and Prayer Flags by Contemporary Artists from the East and West in Virginia, USA with fellow RMIT University graduate Hugh Makin, who spent time in Tibet in 2009 in preparation for the exhibition. Together they created a scroll artwork titled Impermanence in Wax, which explored western perceptions related to Tibet’s religious, political and historical situation.

In 2011, Ginn participated in the 10th anniversary of The Cheaper Show in Vancouver, Canada. The Cheaper Show is a large-scale art event that strives to break the barriers between emerging artists, established artists, collectors, curators, gallery directors and buyers by selling works at a uniform, affordable price.

In 2013, Selby Ginn exhibited in Personal Structures: Time Space Existence for the 55th Venice Biennale held at Palazzo Bembo. Ginn displayed a suspended figure sculpture in the exhibition which included Australian artists Sally Gabori, Yhonnie Scarce, Dale Frank and Sam Jinks and international artists Yoko Ono, Per Hess, Ben Vautier and Yang Fan.

In 2014, Alcaston Gallery was thrilled to present new sculpture and drawings by Selby Ginn. This exhibition was a precursor to the major presentation of her project titled Born From Him, which was exhibited at Melbourne Art Fair 2014 (13 – 17 August 2014).

Selby Ginn has an Honours degree in Fine Art Drawing at RMIT and lives and works in Central Victoria. In 2013, she joined the stable of artists at Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne.

Solo Exhibitions:

2007  Suspension Prototype I, twentybythirty gallery at Pushka Espresso Bar, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

2008  Space is a Place, Area Contemporary Art Space, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

2014 Preview: Born From Him, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Selected Group Exhibitions:

2003  The Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, Exhibition Gardens, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

2004  Book Show, First Site Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

2004  More, PB Gallery at Swinburne Prahran Campus, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

2005  200 Bullets, Alterspace, Chicago, Illinois, USA

2005 Len’s, Forty Five Downstairs, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

2007 Folio 10, Forty Five Downstairs, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

2007 Insert Title Here, Viewing Space at the Nicholas Building, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

 2007 Luminos, First Site Gallery, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Victoria,Australia

2010 The Procession, Dianne Tanzer Gallery + Projects, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

2010 Paper Journeys: Scrolls and Prayer Flags by Contemporary Artists from the East and West,

Capital One, Richmond, Virginia, USA

2010  Dark Moon, Anytime Place, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

2011  The Cheaper Show, Jantzen Factory, Mount Pleasant, Vancouver, Canada

2013  55th Venice Biennale, Personal Structures: Time Space Existence, Palazzo Bembo, Venice, 

2014  Melbourne Art Fair, represented by Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


2005 200 Bullets, Chicago Art Institute, Chicago, Illinois, USA

2007 Luminos, Melbourne Central, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

2009 Dark Moon, Level 1, 378 Smith Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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