Project Description

An award-winning multi-media visual artist

Deanne is a proud Wadawurrung woman.

The vessel or objects that are depicted in still life paintings throughout time, hold significant meanings that often run deeper than the visual, to the unseen and spiritual. The Western art genre of still life holds many meanings for Deanne, it forms links with the object, that in First Nations ontology has a respect of all things being equal and having a spirit not seen to the visible eye. The object forms the link between the lived experience and the spiritual beliefs of the remembering her ancestral connections and knowledges, especially in the woven baskets, stone tool and wooden artefacts, adornments and traditional marking on the body and pattern references, along with allowing the form and subject matter to come alive and tell their story. Deanne reflects upon objects from both her English and Aboriginal grandmothers and how the worldly objects from their homes tell these stories. From the crucifix in her Aboriginal grandmother’s home, being long colonised and a devout Catholic, to the British bulldog Royal Doulton figurine much loved by her English grandmother. Deanne explores the two worlds in which she has come from, often felt through the colonial gaze and the objectification of First Nations peoples through the kitsch, to the trauma felt by such objects of somewhat innocence and the abject experience of being objectified literally and metaphorically. Deanne returns the gaze, through the irony of the object and depicting the true knowledges of the native flowers embedded within them, keeping culture strong and reframing the object for what it means to a First Nations woman, trying to make sense of a life that fought to challenge her existence.