Janice Peacock-Ailan Crates and Traits in the Straits

Upon a short visit to the Art Gallery of SA I came upon this small exhibition on the top of the stairs. Featured were some lovely decorated shopping trolleys, wrapped in various materials including raffia, seagrass and plastic bags. Janice Peacock is from the Meriam Mir people in the Torres Strait Islands. One of the most agreeable aspects of this work is that it has naturalised a common western item into an indigenous format. Transforming the humble trolleys into cultural items. They make a strong comment on contemporary indigenous culture and its ability to embrace that of modern Australia. The trolleys remind me of ceremonial artefacts decorated for cultural activities. Janice’s inspiration for these works could have been from baskets and clothing. One thing that astounds me about Indigenous Australian Art is their ability to refine an objects line and form so succinctly within the confines of the work. Nothing is out-of-place and there is a perfect balance that draws you into the work. A good sculptural work should be of equal significance when viewed from all sides and these works do just that.

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