Born 1969, Melbourne, Victoria
Simon Terrill is a photographer with an interest in the natural sciences involving complexity and emergent theory. However his particular interest is in the self–generated energy of the human organism, specifically in crowd behaviours. To create Swarm, he spent a day in a light tower watching the crowd attending Sydney's 2005 Big Day Out concert. This is a traditional type C photograph, using a long exposure in which moving individuals in the crowd create a painterly blur, while the static elements are clear.
Between the groups of people is detritus litter, discarded possessions – representative of Freud's suggestion that crowd behaviour takes on its own careless dynamic. And Terrill's view from above allows people to be seen clinically – like insects on a slide, tiny, insignificant – yet part of an organism which is more than the sum of its parts.
His background in the theatre is more obvious in Footscray Station. In this work, and another significant community–driven event which produced Southbank, from the 'Crowd Theory' series, heightened lighting and a sense of staginess, make overt the largely constructed nature of these images.
Brueghel is an influence, but also ideas about crowds espoused by the likes of Baudelaire and Freud. Daniel Palmer suggested that Terrill's work fused "social reality with carefully constructed artifice"1. Its impact on the Footscray and Southbank communities extend their influence beyond the event and artworks themselves into the life of the community.
1 Daniel Palmer, Crowd Theory, catalogue essay, 2006.
Louise Martin–Chew from her Samstag essay, Alternative Realities
2008 Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship
2008 Graduate Affiliate, Slade School of Fine Art, London, UK
2005 Master of Fine Art, Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne
1998 Bachelor of Fine Art, Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne