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The Kiss

The Kiss by Gill Gatfield for SCAPE Public Art Season 2016

Gill Gatfield, The Kiss, 2015, absoluto nero/black granite, 2000mm high x 3000mm diameter. Photo courtesy of artist.

The X form has many cultural and symbolic references - the female chromosome, heraldic forms, a kiss in a text message, and of course it ‘marks the spot’ in mapping. In this work by Whangaparaoa-based Gatfield, the X form is rendered monumental in gleaming black granite. Its construction enacts the union of a kiss, the weighty granite panels interlock, separated by a sliver of air. This abstract figure enfolds viewers and landscape in its intersecting planes and reflective surfaces. The Kiss was first presented in Denmark at the centenary of women’s right to vote, asserting a partnership of equals.


Gill Gatfield has LLB. and MFA(Hons) from Auckland University. Her abstract artwork is exhibited in sculpture symposiums, galleries, museums and universities in NZ, Australia, USA and Europe, and held in collections worldwide. 

In 2011 she won a national public art award for Silhouette, a site specific black granite and white glacial stone sculpture at the gateway to Smales Farm Station Auckland. Native Tongue, a 3mH text carved from a rare ancient kauri carbon-dated at over 45,000 years old, stands in the public atrium of Spark NZ. A monograph on her theory and practice, Abstract Figure: Gill Gatfield was released at the International Sculpture Centre Symposium 2013. In 2015, she presented a monumental black granite sculpture, The Kiss, at Sculpture by the Sea Denmark 2015, a biennial exhibition of artists from 25 countries, attracting over half a million visitors. Gill was sole Juror of the 18th International Open 2015 Chicago, an open competition for women artists worldwide, and 2015 artist in residence at the national Women’s Museum Denmark, where she presented a solo exhibition Glass Ceiling/Glasloft. Gatfield's art practice is informed by insights gained in her first career in business, policy and law reform. After working in legal practice, NGOs, and central government as a senior advisor on human rights law, Gill founded and directed Equity Works Ltd., advising private and public sector organisations on equality and diversity strategies. Awarded two New Zealand Law Foundation grants, she is the author of a seminal text Without Prejudice: Women in the Law (Brooker’s, 1996) republished in 2011 as a Heritage Collection Title. In 2012, Gill was invited to join Global Women, a multi-sector organisation of women leaders promoting diversity. Gill Gatfield works from her factory studio north of Auckland NZ.