Christopher Pease, Welcome to Country, 2011, oil on linen, 152x220cm

Welcome to Country | Christopher Pease

APRIL 19, 2012 - MAY 19, 2012

In 1826, French explorer Jules Dumont d’Urville set out to circumnavigate the world in the corvette l’Astrolabe. With a crew including artist Louis Auguste de Sainson, l’Astrolabe anchored in Kingn George Sound (the site of Albany, WA) on October 15th, 1826.

During ten days on the south-west coast, the crew including de Sainson, explored the surrounding area and had dealings with the Minang people. De Sainson produced a number of sketches documenting the expedition which were produced as a folio of lithographs in 1833.

The paintings in this exhibition are derived in part from de Sainson’s 19th century lithographs.The largest painting, Welcome to Country, replicates part of a small de Sainson work held in the National Gallery of Australia, while Land Release 3 and Open Plan Living refer directly to a work held in the Art Gallery of Western Australia.

These works explore the conflicts and connections between traditional indigenous culture and contemporary western ideologies. Geometric house floor plans float symbolically over carefully rendered scenes of traditional living while native and introduced flora morph into wall-paper designs featuring repetitive motifs and regimented decorative patterns.

Pease’s approach is deeply embedded within Australia’s colonial history of oil painting yet provides a new interpretation of indigenous storytelling.