Loss, with a blue vision feat. J.RAE and J.Baerg, reflects on Koorie culture and Waples-Crowe’s own Ngarigo heritage. The work contemplates loss, grief, pain and survival felt by Aboriginal people generations after colonisation.
Exploring dislocation, indigeneity, popular culture and spirituality, Waples-Crowe attempts to bring consciousness to the erasure and loss of Aboriginal cultural knowledge. The site-specific installation at Chapter House Lane presents three panels that combine auto-ethnography and critical reflection to highlight ideas of identity, culture and power. The exhibition combines a collaborative collection of totemic found objects from an art project, ‘Blue Vision’, by Waples-Crowe, and two Indigenous Canadian artists Jen Rae and Jason Baerg. The added objects attempt to illuminate the global Indigenous experience, while the colour blue symbolizes mixed race heritage. Linking his blue eyes to his own identity struggles, Waples-Crowe metaphorically adopts the Bower Bird as a representation of his own actions to gather and recoup lost culture and re-vision it in new ways.
Peter Waples-Crowe is an award winning artist whose visual and performance art practices meet at the intersection of identity, race and culture. A Melbourne-based Ngarigo artist with Wiradjuri connections, Waples-Crowe has exhibited widely in Australia. Recent exhibitions include: Both sides of the street, The Counihan Gallery, 2015; Two of a kind, Bundoora Homestead Art Gallery, 2015; Moving on up, Koorie Heritage Trust, 2015; Notes to GB (Gordon Bennett), Sutton Gallery, 2014; Out Laws (as the Treaters), Linden Contemporary Art, 2014; Queerum: the 24hr experience, Carlton, 2014; From where I stand: Place, Culture, Politics, Bunjilaka, 2014; Horizons, Bundoora Homestead Art Gallery Melbourne, 2014; Healing ways: Art with Intent, The Dax Centre, The University of Melbourne, 2014; Tickin all the boxes, Beyond Blak, Substation Art Gallery, Newport, 2014. Waples-Crowe has been awarded the Victorian Indigenous Art Award, 2013 & 2009; CAL works on paper Award, 2013; People’s Choice Award – Gumbri: White Dove, 2010; City of Darebin Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, 2010; Koorie Heritage Trust Acquisition Award 2009. Adding to this, he has been a finalist in the Wyndham Art Prize, 2015; Victorian Indigenous Art Awards, 2014.
Exhibition opens: Thursday 4 February, 6–8pm
Artist talk: Saturday 20 February, 7–8pm (White Night)