Preliminary Attempts to Rearrange a Sunset is a shifting installation in the sky, its form ceaselessly dictated by the wind, chance and perseverance. The public are invited to launch a fleet of reflective silver kites into the sky above the Thames river in the late afternoon and throughout the sunset, in an attempt to create a live collage of the sunset as it happens. On the ground, the kites act as choreographers for the movements of participants, and in the sky, as flimsy containers for a constantly shifting scene.
Through re-staging the romantic, Preliminary Attempts to Rearrange a Sunset examines the folly of the artist’s attempt to contain endlessly shifting phenomena in within a tiny material frame. Significantly, the installation takes as its setting a spot on the river path frequented by Turner, as he claimed it was one of the only places where one could see the sun rise over the Thames and set back into it.
Born in Sydney in 1990, Gabriella Hirst lives in London and recently completed an MFA at the Slade School of Fine Art. She works primarily with video and performance, also utilizing diverse media including painting, ceramics, text and sound to explore apparatuses of preservation and slippage. She is interested in how one might adopt a romantic approach without complete surrender, testing the boundary between sincerity and skepticism. In 2016, Gabriella was included in the NEW16 exhibition at the Australian Center for Contemporary Art in Melbourne and in 2017 was included in the Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibition in London and Newcastle. She was a shortlisted candidate for the 2018 Ivan Jurtiz Prize at Kings College, London.