Dress Me Featherless, The Philippines & the Post-Colonial
Artists: Shinya Akutagawa, Lyra Garcellano, Mark Salvatus, Mark Valenzuela,
The Philippines is a place of rich ethnicities where the people have tenaciously struggled for some 380 years against colonial tyranny and neocolonial occupation. Dress Me Featherless addresses this diversity and history in the contemporary ‘postcolonial’ present through new work by 4 early-career artists who are either from the Philippines or who have ongoing ties with the country. Through sculpture, film, and installation, the artists seek to challenge status quos and stereotypes concerning identity – national and individual. Curated by Fremantle (WA)-based Fiona Gavino as an outcome of her 2014 Asialink residency in Manila.
Shinya Akutagwa (Japan, Bangkok) is a conceptual artist who works with mixed media, installation, video and sound. He has studied painting, video and film, often using computer programming to combine interactive and architectural ideas to convey his concepts. akutagawashinya.com
Lyra Garcellano (Philippines) primarily works with installation and painting. Her works revolve around the politics of identity and are anchored in issues of displacement, movement, history and memory. lyragarcellano.com
Mark Salvatus (Philippines) works with familiar objects, chance encounters and everyday politics in a practice that involves various media from drawing, installation, photography, video, and street art to interactive and participatory projects. marksalvatus.blogspot.com.au
Mark Valenzuela (Philippines/Australia) has a practice which combines painting, drawing and ceramic installation. Internal and external conflict, anxiety and repetition are residing themes that Valenzuela explores to reveal the ways that an individual adjusts, conforms and rebels against his/herself and the society in which they live.
Fiona Gavino is an artist and curator currently based in Fremantle, WA (since 2008), after 12 years living in the NT where her cross-cultural weaving-based practice developed, and from where she curated two touring exhibitions largely comprising weaving/textile-based work: Call and Response (2006-07), and Organic Matters (2001). She recently curated the Perth International Arts Festival exhibition Yirrkala: works on paper, barks, sculpture at the Uni of WA’s Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery. Gavino’s practice encompasses sculpture, film, and installation. Her work is featured in Hot Springs, the Northern Territory & Contemporary Australian Artists (2012).