THOMPSON, Christian Bumbarra
My artistic journey has been punctuated by investigations into my own identity: in my work, I articulate my experience as an artist of Aboriginal and European heritage, unpacking my individual history in order to unveil the transitory state of dispossessed peoples in the world.
Notions of cultural hybridity have been dominant in my practice, permeating my artistic trajectory and unifying Indigenous art practice with western art making and history.
I represent my community in various ways: as an artist, curator and writer, placing emphasis on process over product; this has allowed me to engage with my community, who participate in my work. I employ photography and video to capture the performance action of my textile-based sculptures. Through these mediums I illustrate the diversity of my community, working in contrast to stereotypical notions of Aboriginal culture seen through the canon of the dominant Anglo-Australian culture.
My journey has been concerned with the inaccurate representation of my people and our material culture in a historical, contemporary and international context.
My work is both political and contemporary; I seek to engage objects, ideas and practices that have disenfranchised my people from our land and art, then remix these themes to infer new meaning. My desire to unify my work with real time has brought me to performance and to use my body as a primary medium. The context of contemporary art has become the site for modern ‘ceremonies’ in keeping with Indigenous aural-based cultural traditions. I aim to forge a new visual language that reflects a true perspective of our culture as a dynamic contemporary entity.