David Jones • Mabo Confronts Leviathan 2019

····· artist statement


Cultural assertion is at least one aspect of Eddi Koiki Mabo’s legacy for all Torres Strait Islander and Indigenous peoples here in Australia. Mabo successfully challenged the ‘vacancy’ attached to this land by ‘settlers’, giving all the First Peoples of the present Australian nation legal leverage for further cultural assertion regarding land rights. His is an example of persistence and successful defence of his people’s human, land and cultural rights in the face of a Hobbs-ian Australian Leviathan. This version of Australia remains un-dismantled, though decrepit and growing more and more prone to romantic delusions of itself. It preens its humanitarian cloak of stars and jack, by the reflection of a narcissistic historical mirror. The eye of Leviathan must begin to see us, though it still judges us, judges the authenticity of us, judges our resolution in its constructed ‘Australian’ landscape and history.

····· David Jones


····· artist's bio

····· David Jones has an Anglo-European Australian, and an Indigenous Dalungdalee or Dalungbarra heritage, both of which are highly influential upon his artistic practice. His family is now included in the Butchulla Land and Seas Native Title Claim, after many years of struggle for recognition. Jones has a deep perspective of the work of Eddie Koiki Mabo and other Indigenous activists, including those in his family. Jones’ Dalungbarra, and more particularly Dalungdalee heritage informs his art processes and drives his visual practice. Since his first contact with the printmaking medium, Jones has been captivated by the multitude of ways one can arrive at a print. Jones’ etchings have been his focus for over a decade, developing a highly detailed, dark and occasionally humorous critique of Australian culture. Jones recently completed a Doctorate at the Queensland College of Art, Brisbane, and operates Corvine Art Studio in Brisbane, working with and printing for many artists. Early on in Jones’ art education he began utilizing art to articulate a critique of Australian society. Jones is represented by Woolloongabba Art Gallery, Brisbane.

David Jones, Mabo Confronts Leviathan, 2019, etching print on rag paper, 93.5 x 76.5cm

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