Exhibition of video, sculpture and photographic work by leading Australian artist Christian Thompson
The Hospital Club Gallery, 24 Endell Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9HQ
Wednesday 6th – Monday 11th November
The Hospital Club Gallery presents ‘We Bury Our Own’, the debut London show of leading Australian artist, Christian Thompson. A ground breaking photographic series and video work produced in dialogue with the renowned Pitt Rivers Museum collection, University of Oxford. Previously shown in New York, Oxford, Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore, Virginia and now the final stop at the Hospital Club, Covent Garden. Christian Thompson is an inaugural Charlie Perkins Scholar who recently made history when he became one of the first Aboriginal Australians to be admitted to the University of Oxford in its 900 year existence.
Exhibited internationally, Thompson’s stellar career spans more than a decade and encompasses photography, video, performance, sound and sculpture. He occupies the forefront of and has influenced a new generation of Australian artists whose work, not unexpectedly, explores issues of identity, cultural hybridity and history. Thompson’s artistic practice has been informed by his absorption of a wide range of cultures as an artist growing up in an urban environment in the 1980s and 1990s. His work transcends racial and political boundaries through a sophisticated universality that speaks of the personal human experience and poetic celebration of kinship in a rapid global economy. Combining traditional Australian scenarios with lurid ornamentation and outlandish dress, he has moved into the ‘exploration’ of a new cross-continental theatrically and ‘post’ - colonial identity blending Australian and European imagery and performance. Through dress, song, performance, photographic and video images, Thompson harnesses iconographies from completely different times and cultures, he grafts and blends them into charged and magical hybrids.
‘We Bury Our Own’ will include new photographic and sculptural works, created in collaboration with the Hospital Club Gallery specifically for this exhibition. The work is a continuation of his survey exhibition at Trinity College, which saw him make history for the second time by becoming the first individual artist to hang a survey exhibition of their work in place of the formal portraits for 450 years.
As the artist notes:
“I knew that this project would be a fantastic platform and unique opportunity to engage with the collection and to make a vital contribution to the cultural fabric of Oxford University, to create a new gateway to consider such material.”
According to Brian Catling, Professor of Fine Art at the University of Oxford, the artist is:
“One of the brightest stars in the new firmament of Australia’s rising visual culture. In this exhibition, made while he is completing his DPhil at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, he exposes our assumptions and anxieties in a vivid mirrored lens.”
The Private View will take place on Tuesday 5th November, after which the exhibition will be open to the public daily 11am-6pm, ending Monday 11th November. The Hospital Club will also host an official Royal Academy artist talk on November 7th. This coincides with the Royal Academy’s major exhibition ‘Australia’ (21 September – 8 December 2013). Tickets to this event can be purchased via www.royalacademy.org.uk