At PICA we recognise that we are situated within the unceded lands of the Whadjuk people of the Noongar Nation. We pay our respects and offer our gratitude to Elders past and present, and to those emerging leaders in the community. We acknowledge all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the importance of their care and continued connection to culture, community and Country.

Always was, always will be.

Our galleries are open today 10am–3pm. Our exhibitions are always free.

Sancintya Mohini Simpson ,

ām / ammā / mā maram

ām / ammā / mā maram

In ām / ammā / mā maram, Meanjin (Brisbane)-based artist Sancintya Mohini Simpson continues research into her matrilineal heritage, making visible the histories of indentured Indian women that remain marginal or erased in colonial archives.  

A first-generation Australian and descendant of labourers sent from the port of Madras (now Chennai), India, to work on sugar plantations in the British colony of Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal), South Africa between 1863 and 1911, Simpson’s exhibition traces her family’s journey through the use of materials common to these places and histories – such as sugarcane and mango. 

Through a combination of paintings, sculpture, poetry and scent, Simpson’s speculative archive speaks to the complexities of intergenerational trauma, memory, migration and healing. With a practice spanning painting, moving image, installation, poetry and performance, this is Simpson’s first exhibition in Western Australia. 

Are our mothers 
Mango trees 
Or fruit 
Fallen, slashed 
Are they roots 
Leaves or sap 
Or branches we 
hold onto. 

– Sancintya Mohini Simpson 

Supported by PICA’s Art Commissioners. 

About the Artists

Sancintya Mohini Simpson is a descendant of indentured labourers sent from India to work on colonial sugar plantations in South Africa. Her work navigates the complexities of migration, memory and trauma— addressing gaps and silences within the colonial archive. Simpson’s work moves between painting, video, poetry, and performance to develop narratives and construct rituals that reflect on her maternal lineage. 

Simpson is an artist, poet and researcher based in Brisbane, Australia. Recent solo exhibitions include: Sugar, Milani Gallery, Brisbane (2022); New Old Archives, Milani Gallery, Brisbane (2020); Kūlī _nām dharāyā/ they’ve given you the name ‘coolie’, Institute of Modern Art Belltower, Brisbane (2020); Echoes Over Oceans, Firstdraft, Sydney (2020); Remnants of my ancestors, Hobiennale, Hobart (2019); and And words are whispered, 1ShanthiRoad Studio Gallery, Bangalore (2019).  

Simpson is represented by Milani Gallery, Brisbane, Australia.


Supporters

Supported by PICA’s Art Commissioners. 

Image: Sancintya Mohini Simpson, The Plantation (detail), 2022, watercolour and gouache on handmade wasli paper, 6 panels each approx. 95 x 125cm irreg., 190 x 375cm overall, image courtesy the artist and Milani Gallery, Meanjin/Brisbane, photo: Carl Warner