Born 1978, Gawler, Australia
Lives and works in London, UK
Christian Thompson is an artist of Bidjara heritage, who works across video, photography, sculpture, performance and sound. Thompson is interested in the performative, and his works frequently present him adopting various personas created with costumes, adornments and disguises derived from history and tradition. Thompson grew up in an urban environment in the 1980s and 90s and he interweaves references to Bidjara culture (such as gestures and songs) with elements of pop culture to address issues of colonialism, sexuality and cultural representation. Thompson's most recent body of work was inspired by an archive of historical photographs of Aboriginal people held at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford. It constitutes a contemporary response to themes of the archive, spiritual repatriation and cultural hybridity. A suite of photographs from the 'Polari' series is accompanied by a video of the artist performing in the Bidjara language.
Christian Thompson / Australia/UK b.1978, Bidjara people, Western Queensland / Trinity I, II, III (from 'Polari' series) 2014 / Type C photographs / 100 x 75cm (ea.) / Purchased 2015. QAGOMA Foundation / © Christian Thompson