John Gillies is an artist who works with performance, moving image, installation, sound and music, often referencing the history of cinema. His experimental narrative film Witkacy & Malinowski: a cinematic séance in 23 scenes premiered at the Sydney Film Festival in 2019. in 2020 he wrote and produced the VR project Is this the Place? in collaboration with Tactical Space Lab. Major video art works include Techno/Dumb/Show (with The Sydney Front)1991, Armada 1998, My Sister's Room 2000, Divide 2006-16 and Witkacy & Malinowski: a cinematic séance in 23 scenes.
His video work is held in public collections including the Fukuyama Art Museum, Hiroshima; National Gallery of Australia; Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane (10 works), Art Gallery of New South Wales; Australian Center for the Moving Image; Videobrasil, São Paulo and Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.
His work has also been shown at the Kasseler Kunstverein (2013), QAGOMA (Brisbane 1996, 2011, 2017 -), Tate Modern (2009), Australian Centre for the Moving Image (Melbourne 2006), Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia (Salvador 1998), Museo Reina Sophia (Madrid 1995), Museum of Modern Art (New York 1994), National Museum of Korea (Seoul 1992), Tramway (Glasgow 2006), , Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney 2000, 2008); the London, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne film festivals, as well as broadcasts on ABC and SBS television in Australia. He was awarded a Creative Fellowship from the Australia Council for the Arts, an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant and was a long term board member of the Performance Space, Sydney.
He has also curated Video Art and Sound Art programs and exhibitions in Australia, Brazil, Germany and Spain.
2020. 'Experimental Virtual Reality Lab', Australia Council for the Arts, Dr Josh Harle (C1), Tarik Ahlip, Cigdem Aydemir, Kylie Banyard, Nic Cassey, John Gillies, Grace Kingston, Claudia Nicholson, Jason Phu, Louise Zhang
Currently course convenor for:
DART1230 Moving Image 1 - Summer (intensive)
DART2231 Moving Image 3: Advanced Practice
With a multi-disciplinary background, John Gillies pioneered the teaching of Video Art in Australia, and was coordinator of the Time Based Art major of the BFA, BFA/BA, BArtEd and the MArt at UNSW. His former students are some of the leading artists working with moving image in Australia. Across UNSW he has also convened and taught courses in Introductory Studies, Time Based Art 1-5, Performance art, Popular Culture and Mass Media, Sound Studio, Sound/Performance/Installation, Video Art, Advanced Video Art, History of Video Art and History of Post WWII Cinema. He has also taught courses for the University of Sydney; University of Newcastle; University of Technology, Sydney; Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil and been a mentor and facilitator for a number of laboratory workshops including Time_Place_Space 2005 and Tele-Visions 2013.