2018 Program pt 1

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History House

History House

Thea Perkins

Opening 07.03.18 6-8pm
Artist Talks 29.04.18 6-7pm

“Pointed in the wrong direction, trapped outside their own history and unable to retrace their steps because their footprints had been swept away. He explained that history was like an old house at night. With all the lamps lit. And ancestors whispering inside. “To understand history,” Chacko said, “we have to go inside and listen to what they’re saying. And look at the books and the pictures on the wall. And smell the smells.”

“[…] because we’ve been locked out. And when we look in through the windows, all we see are shadows. And when we try and listen, all we hear is a whispering. And we cannot understand the whispering”.

– ‘The God of Small Things’ Arundhati Roy

History House forms the vehicle for an investigation of identity as a concept inextricable from personal ‘history’, sparked by an interest in photographs from my family archive and their evocation of emotional and psychological spaces in time.

As representations of the context from which my identity emerged, it was interesting to consider the selection of images from a random collection of photographs as a group of multifarious experiences and to channel them the through a mechanism to produce an ‘architecture’ or framework of self; experiences inherently contiguous with the frameworks of others.

History House is a proliferation intended to reflect the growth or evolution of identity. Not only is it an intervention, it is a new expression or iteration of a moment, of a history.


Thea Anamara Perkins is an Arrernte and Kalkadoon woman living and working in Sydney. Perkins has an emerging painting and installation based practice and is interested in subtle disruptions of the orthodoxies surrounding these disciplines. This extends to an examination of the often rigid and prescriptive conceptual tropes applied to art and portraiture in the work created for her first solo show at Firstdraft.

Perkins studied painting and photography at UNSWAD UNSW Art + Design. Her practice has been informed by her role as studio assistant to Christian Thompson, Jonathan Jones, and Tony Albert. In 2017, while establishing her own practice, she undertook a Solid Ground internship at Carriageworks. Perkins was also commissioned to create a contemporary response to petroglyphs as part of the Barangaroo Ngangamay project by Amanda Jane Reynolds and Genevieve Grieves and provide artwork for an interactive documentary for SBS.