Joan Ross : Touching Other People╩╝s Shopping

7 - 28 June 2013

This body of work investigates the early European colonization of Australia with particular interest in first contact and Imperialism. It is critical of High Visibility (Hi Vis) clothing and considers the 'creep' and colonising agency of Hi Vis, as a metaphor for White Colonisation .

 

‘The claiming of things’ video reconfigures as its backdrop, an early Australian colonial painting by John Glover. This work examines the connection, disconnection and civilising of nature, imperialism, power relationships and racism, throw-away culture and consumerism. ownership, fear, surveillance, boundaries, naming and claiming. Hi Vis flouro, colourfully and gratingly pollutes with its colour coded control over land. Gainsboroughs colonials spray layered graffiti like cats marking their territory.

 

The video ‘Touching other people’s butterflies’ and the show ‘Touching other peoples shopping’ takes these ideas further, and discusses the notion of collecting and ownership. The idea started when I was shopping and a butterfly landed on my trolley handle and stayed for 40 mins, (bad iphone video of it in show too) , and one day at the checkout when I moved someone in front of me’s  shopping… needless to say their response prompted an exhibition.

 

 ‘Lassie come home’ uses George Stubbs painting of a giant hi vis dog on a ‘View of Newcastle’. The domesticated dog is a poignant marker of colonization. I specifically used a Stubbs dog because Joseph Banks, requested and commissioned Stubbs to paint a 'portrait' of a kangaroo brought back on the Endeavor in 1771.

 

‘I dig your land’ from the Lycett ‘view of Wingecarribee River, is an extension again of the use of hi vis as a metaphor for colonization its river of Hi vis, insinuating its affect as pollution, and the idea that men wearing hi vis fluoro safety gear have authority over the land. The workers are Gainsborough portraits and self portrait.