Joan Ross’ new work continues her obsession with colonisation and its ongoing legacy in Australia.
New drawings address the 1788 Diaries of Watkin Tench, they talk to history in a way that she see’s as malleable, the telling of which is from a particular perspective and makes new connections, even going as far as making it up in the same fashion as she sees the retelling of histories.
Her prints are critical considerations of our colonial history and in particular of the mentality of collecting and the superiority and damage that springs from one race believing themselves to be above another.
Also showing is Ross’ latest video, I give you a mountain. The first scene is based on the original drawing of the Leverian Museum by Sarah Stone (the same image which inspired her work Oh history, you lied to me, which won the Sulman prize in 2017). In this work we see a drowned museum covered in moss, a room with headless birds and colonial heads in jars, moving through we find ourselves in a room that is a collection of absurd purposeful discordant images including an advert for Dog Happiness in a pill, but in the end one Colonial man tries to give another man a mountain, and with that gesture everything dissolves, its about ownership, and asks the deeper question 'how can we own a mountain’?
Joan was the 2019 recipient of the Acmi Mordant Family VR Commission, which showcased this year at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. She is in this years Sulman prize, which she won in 2017.