Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People's cultures are the oldest surviving continuous cultures on Earth. The First Peoples of these many nations now known as Australia are the custodians and caretakers of our cultures. Cultures that do not enjoy the same legal protections, freedoms and privileges that multi-national corporations do. Our cultures are continuously appropriated at our expense and for the benefit of prescribed national interests and the Australian economy.
The boomerang is an internationally recognised symbol of 'Australian culture', which is bastardised by the tourism industry; sold as a trinket, a souvenir, and the physical memory of a holiday. Copywrong is a work about the severe lack of entitlements to copyright for First Peoples cultural materials. This boomerang was made overseas, it has been marked with unidentifiable totems in acrylic paint. Ochre is used to incant the need for our cultures to come back home; they need to be protected under the international legal system.
Amala Groom is a Wiradjuri conceptual artist whose practice, as the performance of her cultural sovereignty, is informed and driven by First Nations epistemologies, ontologies and methodologies. Her work, a form of passionate activism, presents acute and incisive commentary on contemporary socio-political issues. Articulated across diverse media, Groom’s work often subverts and unsettles western iconographies in order to enunciate Aboriginal stories, experiences and histories, and to interrogate and undermine the legacy of colonialism. Not wishing to create reactionary works which tacitly allow contemporary political operatives serving the colonial ideology to set her artistic agenda, Groom seeks to create works which proactively and creatively unpack and undermine the Colonial Project, the ongoing philosophy of colonialism that has imperialistically subjugated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples since 1770.
Groom has exhibited at Artspace, National Art School, dLux Media Arts toured by Museum and Galleries of NSW, Casula Powerhouse, Hobiennale 2018 and she currently sits as a Director on the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) Board.
fake boomerang, ochre, acrylic, Australian currency
35 x 20 x 5 cm
Judges of the 2018 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize: Michael Lynch AO CBE (Australian Arts administrator, former Director of Sydney Opera House and former CEO of West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, Hong Kong) and Amanda Love (Director Loveart, independent Art Advisory).
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