Masters in Fine Art 2008-2010

My MFA work is an exploration of personal identity through the idea of conflict in Australia both historically and contemporaneously.  The paintings source images from history and from contemporary culture, in order to make links with the past and create future imaginings.  The works reference local plant and animal populations, reflecting Australia's history as a colony and the use of natural history painting as a way of constructing, visually and conceptually, an image or idea of what Australia is.  Other images, referencing conflict more explicitly, are sourced from the television, Internet and print media.  Using images from global sources highlights the fact that although they have an origin, they now belong in many places. 

Masks are a potent symbol of identity, and of covered identity.  Masks are as relevant now as they have been in the past, from images of bushrangers with face coverings, military and guerrilla masks, to CCTV images of masked robbers and surgical masks to guard against bacteria.  Masks reference fear; of contagion, of the body being invaded or colonised, but they also represent a change in identity for the wearer.  A mask can turn an individual into a pack animal, and it can enable that individual to do things they would not do unmasked.  It represents a becoming, an in between space where the masked person is neither themselves nor something else.  Some of the work uses army imagery and camouflage as a way of visually suggesting the impact of conflict on personal and national identity.  


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