The Advertiser Adelaide Magazine: Gawler born indigenous artist Christian Thompson makes history in the UK
August 28, 2013
Gawler born indigenous artist Christian Thompson makes history in the UK
"They took down all of the paintings of a cardinal and a couple of prime ministers," says Mr Thompson. "It was such a break in tradition but also a high vote of confidence from my college - it got people talking which was great and I think people said 'why don't we do this every year - there should be exhibitions in here all the time'".
Mr Thompson's father is Bidjara, from Barcaldine in central western Queensland while his mother is of British descent. The artist has fond childhood memories of visiting his grandmother in the remote outback village. "We would always take my artwork home to her and unveil it out of the boot of the car. Then we'd nail it to the wall in my grandmother's kitchen - there weren't really any hanging devices!"
Mr Thompson currently lives and studies in the UK, but his connection to the land and sense of home inspires his work.
"I think there is always that desire to spread a sense of who I am, and where I come from is a huge part of that," he says. "Also a desire to bring my sense of Australia into the world and into the European and international art world."
The artist will do just that next month when his work is shown as part of 'Australia', an exhibition featuring work by Australian artists spanning more than 200 years. It is the first major survey of Australian art in the UK for 50 years.
The exhibition runs from 21 September until 8 December 2013 at London's Royal Academy of Arts. "I'm also giving the Arthur Boyd lecture of Australian Art at the (Australian) Embassy in September and I'm having my show at the Hospital Club in Covent Garden... phew!"