Paton works across a number of distinct domains including painting, moving-image, sculpture and installation. His work is unified by a post-conceptual approach that inserts his Guani-Monero experience and heritage into broader themes and formal concerns.
Contrecoup is a medical term used to describe a contusion resulting from the brain contacting the skull on the side opposite from where an impact occurs. For Paton the terms offers a descriptive of his practice, which seeks to operate in the fissures between indigenous and non-indigenous histories, ideas and materialism. The exhibition includes a cross-section of recent series by Paton, as well as discrete singular works.
Paton’s CH paintings are based on the little known cave paintings on Gunai lands, while his Muraskin works reference the Guani word for ‘musket’ and the well documented armed confrontations with colonial squatters and authorities - some of the bloodiest in the white (re)settlement of Australia. The Sickness is a ongoing series of works that re-appropriates Tony Clark’s Myriorama series, which its based on the panoptic surveillance, and thereby ownership, of terra nullis. Other works in the exhibition reconfigure needlepoint scenes of colonial Australia, model-making and colonial intervention into the indigenous landscape.