····· artist statement
‘The silences of my country’s past render my white self mute:’ As an Australian, how can I make a ‘statement’ in relation to Mabo’s legacy when I know the cost of the lies and silences of Australia’s past? Why would I hope to make an ‘artist’s statement’ when I know that the statistics of the present have been born from the hollowed-out core of those silences? What role is even possible to play as a non-Indigenous artist in Australia, under the burden of awareness that First Australians people are less than three percent of our population, yet they constitute twenty-eight percent of the population of our prisons; that Aboriginal children constitute fifty percent of juvenile prisons; and that Aboriginal women constitute thirty-four percent of women behind bars? I fail to find a way of making statements – instead, (again) the questions (again) rise up (again). But my small space granted here is (yet another) small miracle of forbearance, generosity, forgiveness, inclusiveness: the fact that Gail Mabo and her people have extended this invitation to share in an exhibition honouring the work of the great Eddie Koiki Mabo is yet another incarnation of how big the spirit of this country can be. For this – thank you.
····· Patricia Hoffie
····· artist's bio
····· Patricia (Pat) Hoffie is a Queensland based artist. Trained as a painter, her practice includes a range of media including installation, assemblage and sculpture. Since her first solo exhibition in Brisbane in 1974, she has exhibited extensively in Australia and internationally. For several decades her work has focused on the changing nature of work, especially in relation to shifts in understanding about what might constitute a ‘work of art’ or an ‘artwork’. She has engaged in residencies across the Asia-Pacific region as well as in Europe, and has worked collaboratively with artist communities including, and especially, those in the Philippines. She has also worked on projects and exhibitions that include Australia’s changing role in the Asia-Pacific region; on Art and Human Rights; on the changing nature of land and place; and on the effects of globalization on local cultural production exhibitions, both in Australia and overseas. Hoffie has held positions on a number of leading national boards and committees including the Australia Council for the Arts, Asialink, the National Association of the Visual Arts, the Institute of Modern Art, the Australian Flying Arts School and the Queensland Artworkers Alliance.
Hoffie has recently worked on a national touring exhibition titled The Partnershipping Project.