'This series is a celebration of the civil rights movement led by First Nations people in Australia.'
That Which Endures seeks to examine the storied layers within records, the confluence of the personal and political, and the indeterminate nature of memory. To illuminate the many connections that flow through lifetimes - to explore what calls and compels us.
'I’ve sourced lesser-known images, candid, taken on the periphery to convey the human scale of these movements. Following on from my interest in my family archives, I am examining events…'
Sourcing black and white images, all of these events took place during Assimilation.
Thea Anamara Perkins is an Arrernte and Kalkadoon artist whose practice incorporates portraiture and landscape to depict authentic representations of First Nations peoples and Country. With a delicate hand, Thea answers heavy questions about what it means to be Indigenous in contemporary Australia, and how Aboriginal people can and should be portrayed.
Perkins routinely delves into her family’s photographic archive for source material, attracted by the hyper-saturated, almost cinematic, glow of old photos, and the melancholia that comes with seeing a moment in time you can no longer access. She is most drawn to snapshots that evoke feelings of comfort and certainty – smiling faces, happy memories. The glimmer, she calls it. Her compositions hone in on this by removing the background noise, reducing the photo to its very essence – a gesture, a colour, or an evocation of place.
Artist portrait by Jacquie Manning, courtesy The Art Gallery of NSW and N.Smith Gallery, Sydney