Marking the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody, Warraba Weatherall challenges the relationship between contemporary colonisation, the prison system, and the perpetual narrative of incarceration of Indigenous Australians.
InstitutionaLies is a new body of sculptural work, presented through the use of customary Kamilaroi knowledge intertwined with Weatherall’s contemporary practice. The exhibition provides an entry point for audiences in to the ongoing effect of this often ignored and difficult history, prompting the question ‘Is the past forever present?’
In InstitutionaLies, Weatherall references Victorian Panopticon observational theories by brothers Samuel and Jeremy Bentham of spatial design in architecture – specifically prisons. Imbued with ideas of control and obedience, the panopticon provides a diagram of power relationships that influence how societies establish law and order through concepts of vision. Combining a central “brain” sculpture with a ring of eleven caged, dissected, hanging trees; Weatherall’s exhibition will be a deeply moving experience for all Australians, reflecting not only upon our past, but very much our present.
Warraba Weatherall is an exciting emerging artist of national and international interest. As a recent graduate of the Queensland College of Art in 2016, Warraba was included in the 2017 national graduate exhibition Hatched at Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts.
This work has since been acquired by the Australian national Artbank. Warraba has also been shortlisted for the prestigious 34th TELSTRA National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, due to be announced on the 11th of August 2017. Warraba has exhibited in New York, Toronto, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. Having begun his practice as a street artist, InstitutionaLies sees Warraba moving from primarily two-dimensional work into sculpture and installation practice for his first major solo exhibition.
Need to know - Opening night is 6pm August 9th, with a talk by the artist at 6pm on August 10th.
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