Dr Christian Thompson AO (born 1978, Gawler, South Australia, Bidjara People) is a leading contemporary Australian artist whose work explores notions of identity, cultural hybridity, and history. In many of Thompson’s works, he engages with the process of auto-ethnography. Merging a nuanced dream world and his autobiography, he draws out images that connect his own personal experience to wider social, political, and cultural meanings and understandings.
Equinox features new works by Thompson in which he plays a spirit figure. In three works, titled Enchantments, Thompson carries masks of Bernhardt Otto Holtermann, Baron Sir Ferdinand Jacob Heinrich von Mueller and Ludwig Leichardt, each of whom played a role in the colonisation of Australia. In Primeval Sea, the artist is consumed within a ring of everlasting daisies. Merging lived experience, the historical archive, and the contemporary present, Thompson’s work transcends the ethnographic gaze. The masks Thompson dons in Equinox are windows to his Bidjara ancestry and global histories.