Standing still; looking back, looking forward

standing still; looking back, looking forward is a celebration of First Nations identities today, yesterday and tomorrow. Featuring new works by Dean Cross, Brad Darkson, Ashley Perry and Katie West, and collaborative work by Amala Groom & Nicole Monks, the exhibition acts as a testimony to the non-prescription of the Aboriginal experience – presenting a collection of works that together, explore the complexities of navigating culture, expectation and sovereign knowledges.

Through contemporary investigations of memory, lived experience and sovereign knowledge, and the artists own unique experiences, the exhibition highlights the importance of knowledge transfer and the social responsibility that comes with it - charting an urban reality across and between the multiple in culture, place/s and space/s to reveal wide-ranging perspectives and experiences of Aboriginality that intersect both time and tradition, change and adaption.

Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 9.08.00 AM.png

Curatorial Forward

Standing still, we are a culmination of light in the present. Looking back, an embodiment of the past, of memory, of place, of those who have come before us – while simultaneously looking forward, echoing what is behind, reflecting what will be.

standing still; looking back, looking forward[1] conjures ideas of temporality, the unravelling of the spaces in between and highlights the relationships of all things. Together, the interconnected expressions bring forth non-linear concepts of time that are both cyclic and circular, and reliant on dynamic encounters where the past, present and future meet.

In this context, the exhibition is a timely reminder to exist in the present and to just be; underscoring one simple truth, that everyone’s journey whilst related, is in fact unique.

The exhibition presents representations of belonging and affirms Aboriginality as a living breathing entity; opened up to process through methods that meld the old, the now and the new – articulating experience in ways that provoke deeper knowledges and understandings of the diaspora of Aboriginality.

Each artist has created interdisciplinary works that actively ‘break-through’ the internal and external pressures and expectations that assume the production of ‘traditional-looking’ or identifiably Aboriginal art works. The artists are themselves Aboriginal and therefore the art that the artists produce is also Aboriginal art. The artist’s connection to their cultures is manifested as an embodiment within, reflected across their creative expression, distinct to and in critique of the image obsessed notions that permeate across western societies.

We are what is, what was, and what will be – an embodiment of future, present and past –  we are looking back, we are looking forward and we are grounded in the now.

[1] standing still: what is; looking back: what was; looking forward: what will be.


Dean CROSS   CROSS trans-disciplinary artist working across the sculptural and pictorial fields. His current practice attempts to re-evaluate and re-construct what it means to be Australian in the 21st Century, and how that fits within our globalised world. Cross was born and raised on Ngunnawal country, however his ancestral roots lie within the Worimi Nation.

Dean CROSS

CROSS trans-disciplinary artist working across the sculptural and pictorial fields. His current practice attempts to re-evaluate and re-construct what it means to be Australian in the 21st Century, and how that fits within our globalised world. Cross was born and raised on Ngunnawal country, however his ancestral roots lie within the Worimi Nation.

Brad DARKSON   DARKSON (ne’ Harkin) an experimental artist, working across various media including paint, resin, sound, sculpture, and installation. His current practice explores themes such as identity, ritualised human behaviour, memory, pilgrimage and technology. Conceptually, Darkson’s work is often informed by strong ties to both his Anglo Australian and Narungga Aboriginal heritage.

Brad DARKSON

DARKSON (ne’ Harkin) an experimental artist, working across various media including paint, resin, sound, sculpture, and installation. His current practice explores themes such as identity, ritualised human behaviour, memory, pilgrimage and technology. Conceptually, Darkson’s work is often informed by strong ties to both his Anglo Australian and Narungga Aboriginal heritage.

Amala GROOM & Nicole MONKS    GROOM & MONKS'  work both independently and collaboratively as multi- disciplinary arts practitioners. Together their collaborative practice acts as a performance of their cultural sovereignty; creatively expressed through the meetings of new technologies and ancient knowledge’s. Their work is focused on exploring the indivisibility of the human experience and asserts the embodiment of the ‘living mirror’ that exists as the Aboriginal experience.

Amala GROOM & Nicole MONKS

GROOM & MONKS' work both independently and collaboratively as multi- disciplinary arts practitioners. Together their collaborative practice acts as a performance of their cultural sovereignty; creatively expressed through the meetings of new technologies and ancient knowledge’s. Their work is focused on exploring the indivisibility of the human experience and asserts the embodiment of the ‘living mirror’ that exists as the Aboriginal experience.

 
Ashley PERRY   PERRY   is an interdisciplinary artist working across sculpture, drawing, printmaking and new media. He is a descendant of the Goenpul people of Quandamooka Country. Perry’s recent work is inspired by research into Quandamooka cultural practices, focusing on material culture held in museum and university collections and decolonising theories as a way of understanding materials, histories and artistic practice.

Ashley PERRY

PERRY is an interdisciplinary artist working across sculpture, drawing, printmaking and new media. He is a descendant of the Goenpul people of Quandamooka Country. Perry’s recent work is inspired by research into Quandamooka cultural practices, focusing on material culture held in museum and university collections and decolonising theories as a way of understanding materials, histories and artistic practice.

Katie WEST   WEST is a multidisciplinary artist and Yindjibarndi woman living and working in Naarm. Her work is defined by a journey to reconnect with her heritage and build her own sense of Aboriginality. She combines natural dyeing techniques, text-based scores, installation and social practice to traverse themes of more-than-human relations and custodial ethics with a desire to challenge the myths revolving around Australia’s national identity.

Katie WEST

WEST is a multidisciplinary artist and Yindjibarndi woman living and working in Naarm. Her work is defined by a journey to reconnect with her heritage and build her own sense of Aboriginality. She combines natural dyeing techniques, text-based scores, installation and social practice to traverse themes of more-than-human relations and custodial ethics with a desire to challenge the myths revolving around Australia’s national identity.