Born 1950, Melbourne, Australia
Lives and works in Melbourne
Road to the hills — a text for everything and nothing 2014 is an eerie and expansive work that draws together historical and contemporary threads to reflect on racial intolerance. Janenne Eaton's large-scale assemblage combines black modular, reflective panels with a convex mirror and text. Printed on the mirror is a photograph by John B Eaton (the artist's uncle) of a lonely country road from which the work derives its title. Contrasting with the peaceful, historical landscape, the reflective panels resemble the view from a surveillance camera and are scattered with symbols of skulls, bullet-holes and text. Dominating the mirrored black panels of the work is the reflected text 'THESE PEOPLE', a recognisable and dismissive reference to asylum seekers in the vernacular of Australian politicians. Eaton combines domestic and local historical references to confront an issue of global significance; the fear and prejudice against communities and individuals who are made to represent a set of abstract principles, their identities constructed in advance with little knowledge or understanding.
Janenne Eaton / Australia b. 1950 / Road to the hills — a text for everything and nothing 2014 / Installation view, NKN Gallery, Melbourne / Photograph: Mark Ashkanasy 2014 / Image courtesy: The artist and NKN Gallery, Melbourne / © Janenne Eaton