Tuesday, 18 July 2017

William Gaudinez & Valentine Brown

July 16 - August 19   Romancing the Colony

The installation titled, Romancing the Colony is Slot’s response to the Bayanihan Philippine Art Project at AGNSW, a series of exhibitions across Sydney galleries focusing on Filipino art practices. Here William Gaudinez and Valentine Brown offer romantic views of colonization in their respective countries, the Philippines and Australia. 

Retablo by William Gaudinez, Painting on wood by Valentine Brown, 'prayer book' by William Gaudinez, painting on wood by Valentine Brown [left to right].

The Filipino artist, William Gaudinez works within the votive Retablo form of the Spanish who’s period as the archipelago’s colonizer is bookended by the subject matter of his two works.  

'Retablo' by William Gaudinez. Painting on wood.
He illustrates the period before the Spanish with the mythological sea voyage of the people to their land while the period following Spanish colonization is encapsulated in the coming of the Filipino Republic.  


He offers a perhaps romanticized reading of colonization stretching from the mythic Bayanihan past of shared work to a present day amalgamation  of parts as series of purposeful and scarred interventions.

Valentine Brown’s map of Australia is a folk art form that is also the colonialist’s view of the continent first drawn in entirety by Matthew Flinders and Boongaree in 1810.

Valentine Brown's colonial narrative on map of Australia
His paintings illustrate the poetry of Banjo Patterson and Henry Lawson who celebrated Australia’s 19th-century folk lore and in particular the battle between the old hand and the new chum fought out in Patterson’s poem Saltbush Bill.  Today the poem unintentionally reflects the position of both the Aboriginal and the refugee/immigrant with in the polyglot of pre-republic Australia. 

Today the poem unintentionally reflects the position of both the Aboriginal and the refugee/immigrant within the polyglot of pre-republic Australia. Through the agency of colonization our small exhibition links history to mythology in an articulation of the substantial connection we have with the place of our birth irrespective of racial identification.

In a second iteration of our response to the Bayanihan Philippine Art Project, Slot will present an exhibition of painting by the Filipino abstractionist, Melbourne Aquino.

Tony Twigg
Director, SLOT