A selection of works by Dr Christian Thompson, one of Australia’s pre-eminent contemporary artists, comes to the City of Yarra in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the 1967 Australian Referendum and Sorry Day.
In much of Thompson’s work he engages with the process of auto-ethnography, merging a nuanced dream-world, with his autobiography and research, and this exhibition is no exception. The works are tightly constructed images that connect the artist’s experiences to wider social, political, cultural meanings and understandings.
A descendant of the Bidjara people of Western Queensland, Thompson is also of English, Irish, Scandinavian and Jewish heritage. Reflecting on personal, private and public archives, Thompson harnesses his focus on anti-portraiture and its ability to trouble the relationship between past and present. His works hold powerful actions/gestures, drawing relationships between objects, body and history working in a myriad of mediums such as photography, sculpture, video and sound.
Thompson made history when he was awarded the inaugural Charles Perkins Scholarship, becoming one of the first Australian Aboriginal people to be admitted to the University of Oxford its 900 year history. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy (Fine Art), Trinity College, University of Oxford, United Kingdom; Master of Theatre, Amsterdam School of Arts, Das Arts, The Netherlands; Masters of Fine Art (Sculpture) as well as Honours (Sculpture), RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia; and a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia.
In 2015 pioneering performance artist Marina Abramovic mentored him. He has exhibited extensively in Australia and abroad and his works are held in major national and international collections.
Image: Christian Thompson, Howl Your Troubles, 2011, type C photograph. Courtesy the artist and Sarah Scout Presents, Melbourne and Michael Reid Gallery, Sydney and Berlin