‘We Bury Our Own’
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
Private View: Tuesday 5th November, 6.00 - 8.00pm, to be opened by the
Australian Deputy High Commissioner, Mr Andrew Tod
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
NOTES TO EDITORS:
CHRISTIAN THOMPSON. Born 1978. Lives and works in London. He is a contemporary artist and holds a Bachelor of Visual Art (Fine Art) University of Southern Queensland, Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Masters of Fine Art, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and a Masters of Theatre from the Amsterdam School of Arts and is currently reading a Dphil of Fine Art at Trinity College, University of Oxford, Britain. He has presented his photographs, videos and performance works in numerous solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally. Recent group exhibitions include ‘The Space Between, The Anne Landa Award for video Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, ‘Arte Indigena Contemporaneo En Australia, Colleccion Sordello Missana’, Instituto Valenciano De Arte Moderno, Valencia, Spain, ‘SOLO’, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, UK, ‘Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years, Plugin Institute of Contemporary Art, Winnipeg, Canada, ‘Tell Me Tell Me - Australian and Korean Art from 1976 - 2011’ Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney and National Museum of Korea, Seoul, ‘Beauty of Distance: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age’ Sydney International Biennale, ‘Before and After Science, The Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, ‘Andy and OZ: Parallel Visions’, Andy Warhol Museum USA. ‘Workin Down Under’, Wood Street Galleries, USA. ‘Brilliance’, Aboriginal Art Mu-seum, Utrecht, The Netherlands. ‘This Crazy Love’, Linden Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne. ‘Culture Warriors’, National Indigenous Art Triennial, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. ‘Raised by Wolves’, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth. He was a studio artist at Gertrude Street Contemporary Art Spaces 2006, Melbourne. He has undertaken residencies at Dasarts Advanced Studies for Performing Arts, Amsterdam, Centre for Future Art Research at Arizona State University, Arizona, USA, Blast Theory, Brighton, UK, Greene Street Studio, New York, USA and the Fonderie Darling Studio, Montreal, Canada and has competed a Curatorial Internship at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne, Australia. He is an Inaugural Charlie Perkins Scholar and one of the first Aboriginal Australians to be admitted to Oxford University where he is currently undertaking a doctorate of Philosophy in Fine Art. His work is held in major public and private collections including, National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales, National Gallery of Victoria, Queensland Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Western Australia, The Sordello Missana Collection, Peter Klein Collection, Myer Collection, Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery, AAMU Collection, The Netherlands and various private collections. He has been included in various publications including Frieze, Realtime, Art Review, Art and Australia, Art Monthly, Oxford ORS Editions, Meanjin,Vogue and was recently included is Susan Bright’s ‘Auto Focus - The Self Portrait in Contemporary Photography’ published by Thames and Hudson, 2010 and in the upcoming French publication entitled ‘Portraits’ by Valerie Mettais and published by editions Palette. He is represented by Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne and Michael Reid Gallery, Sydney and Berlin.
THE HOSPITAL CLUB is a unique hub in the heart of London offering the creative community the environment and facilities they need to create, connect and collaborate. As part of London’s creative community its role is to discover and feed the best creative talent, and produce, publish and celebrate their work. It is a real-world club but also an on-online community for the creative industries and is set up to inspire, entertain, support and nurture creative talent.
THE HOSPITAL CLUB GALLERY presents up to six exhibitions a year, in so doing reflecting and supporting the rich diversity of the Club’s creative interests.
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This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body