20 April to 19 May 2018
Sarah Scout Presents is delighted to announce Christian Thompson: Moonlight Cactus, the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery. Moonlight Cactus comprises new photographic works created by the artist in 2017-18, including a large-scale immersive ‘flower wall’, and work made following the artist’s recent participation in an exhibition in Israel, that continues Thompson’s interest in exploring his Sephardic Jewish matrilineal ancestry. Christian Thompson’s work explores notions of identity, cultural hybridity, and history – often referring to the relationships between these concepts and the environment. Formally trained as a sculptor, Thompson’s multidisciplinary practice engages mediums such as photography, video, sculpture, performance, and sound. His work focuses on the exploration of identity, sexuality, gender, race, and memory. In his live performances and conceptual anti-portraits he inhabits a range of personas achieved through handcrafted costumes and carefully orchestrated poses and backdrops.
CHRISTIAN THOMPSON was born in 1978, Gawler, South Australia (Bidjara People). He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy (Fine Art), Trinity College, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, Master of Theatre, Amsterdam School of Arts, Das Arts, The Netherlands, Masters of Fine Art (Sculpture) RMIT University and Honours (Sculpture) RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia and a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. In 2010 Thompson made history as one of only two Indigenous Australians admitted into the University of Oxford in its 900-year history. He has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally, having been included in exhibitions such as Australia at the Royal Academy for the Arts, London; We Bury Our Own, The Pitt Rivers Museum and Modern Art Oxford, United Kingdom and Valencian Institute of Modern Art, Valencia, Spain; The Other and Me, The Sharjah Museum, United Arab Emirates, Hijacked III; QUOD Gallery, Derby, United Kingdom; Shadow life, Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre, Bangkok, Thailand; The Beauty of Distance/Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age, 17th Biennale of Sydney and Everywhen: The Eternal Present in Indigenous Art from Australia, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, USA; and Tracks and Traces: Contemporary Australian Art in Israel, Negev Museum of Art, Be’er Sheva, Israel. Ritual intimacy, the first major survey exhibition by the artist, co-curated by Charlotte Day and Hetti Perkins, was first presented at Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) in 2017, prior to touring to multiple venues through 2017-18. In 2015 Thompson was mentored by performance artist Marina Abramović and in 2017 he was awarded the Australian National University H.C. Coombs Creative Arts Fellowship and was the recipient of the inaugural $80,000 Mordant Family VR Commission. In 2018 he was included in the 2018 Adelaide Biennale: Divided Worlds and Colony: Frontier Wars at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Christian Thompson’s works are held in major collections in Australia and internationally.