C O L O N I S E D s e r i e s
In recent years, my works have been exploring various approaches of expanding the produced picture beyond the anticipated boundary and into the surrounding picture frame. This recent series was the first in which I not only extend into the ornate frame but also design and produce the ornaments themselves using 3D printing.
In designing these adornments, I sought to explore evolving expressions of National Identity. As an Australian of solely European descent, I feel disturbed by the concealment of our full history in favour of the simplistic floral symbols that are so often enthusiastically paraded. To attempt to address this, I sourced and manipulated environmental elements from multiple generations of Australian banknotes. This selection is an attempt to acknowledge how these natural surroundings exist purely as a result of the British invasion of a land that had been inhabited for at least 60,000 years. Simultaneously, I am also wishing to explore the irony found in how we pride ourselves on an environment that is often decimated in the pursuit of the exact same money upon which it is depicted.
The works I have created are consistently guided by the Western Canon and aspire to emulate the great European masters. By using the birds from my surroundings on the other side of the planet, it would be disrespectful to divorce this aspiration from the way colonising Europeans saw and treated the Indigenous population upon arrival. So through each title, I have ascribed a clearly fictitious narrative to the native Australian birds as a way of referencing the degradation of Aboriginal people. By naming each subject after a well-known Aboriginal person with a European Christian name, I am hoping to distance myself from appearing to presume to speak on behalf of Indigenous Australians. Instead, as an outsider I am seeking to bring attention to the continuing impacts of colonisation.