12th June - 6th July
Australian Graffiti
Christian Thompson

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"Honestly I cannot recall the exact moment when Australian Graffiti came about. A friend told me today on my way to the airport that she recalls me raving on about native flowers years ago, so the seeds must have been planted way back then and it has taken this long to come into full bloom. I'm not sure what it's about myself, it's not my job to say either. I just surrender myself to things hat come and knock on my door. I often discover the true meaning of my work years after I have made it. I think of myself as a kind of conduit. I just have to remain open to the many things that permeate my creative journey. All I have been able to think about lately is blood and bones, the internal mechanisms of everything, dying and being reborn, mortality, man and nature. It's and obsession with the beauty and vulnerability of human beings. I carry the flowers with me like the most quintessential Australian symbol, a return to a more pagan and traditional symbiosis between man and the natural world. Perhaps the flowers are an extension of this visceral response to my surroundings. Sometimes when I am talking with people I visualize clusters of Warratahs or Banksias protruding from their shoulders or coming out of their mouths, it is with that degree that they are present in my everyday life. I have been doing a lot of travel over the last couple of years. I thought imagine if you had ever seen a Kangaroo Paw, Flannel Flowers or Eucalyptus, what strange, unique and divine creatures to stumble across? I did a performance in America and projected giant spiraling Warratahs behind me, people thought they were all sorts of things and very few believed that a flower like this could exist. I'm not sure how my mind remixes these themes but when it coalesces it feels right and all the variables fall into position. Thinking about the series in hindsight feels like a dreamscapes, a series of sensations from my childhood, like warm sand on my feet, the seductive nature of hot desert air, or the distant smell of the bush when my Dad and I drive into the heart of our country. I never really thought about how the images would look, like memories I could only visualize sensations, fields of colour. Australian Graffiti I guess looks really Australian too, although I could imagine some of these head dresses being at a carnival or at Love Parade in Berlin or worn at Ziggy Stardust. My body has become like a sculpture and armature to carry my creations and unique finds from trawling through vintage fashion stores and trust me they are as unique as the flowers. I think of the flowers as a particularly Australian palette and have composed them in my mind this way. My studio has been like a graveyard of floral experiments, it is nice to be surrounded by them though, they feel like allies in many ways, we come from the same place."

Christian Thompson