Dem Cheeky Bulls
Opening 01.03.17 6-8pm
Artist Talks 23.03.17 6-7pm
Dem Cheeky Bulls portrays the power that spoken and written word can hold over a person in terms of the relationship between word and self-portrayal. Through bringing together eight portraits with eight Aboriginal Australians alongside ‘everyday racial’ comments that have been received in regards to their culture, ancestry, and life.
The European invasion of Australia has had its disastrous effects on families and mobs nation-wide, and in particular urban-Aboriginals have been set back and suffered greatly in terms of reconnecting to culture and defending their identity as Aboriginals. Aboriginality is often highly judged by ‘others’ due to an existing preconceived idea of what a proper ‘Aboriginal’ person should look like and how they behave. Should the Aboriginal not fit the preconceived profiling, then (unintentional and/or intentional) denial and racial criticism usually comes into play.
Focusing on creating a dialogue in relation to the psychological damage caused by ‘everyday racism’, Dem Cheeky Bulls expresses the experience of unintentional or intentional everyday interactions with people, services, or systems that leave an Aboriginal Australian person feeling they have been judged or categorised in a deniable way.
Utilising photography and digital collage as my medium of choice, I use digital technologies to open a gateway to create and push new narratives concerning themes of displacement, alienation, suppression and oppression, connection to culture and land, identity, racism and social confinement.
Hayley Millar-Baker is a Gunditjmara artist born in Werribee, Victoria, and resides in Sunshine, Victoria.
Hayley completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting) at RMIT University in 2010, Master of Teaching (Visual Arts) at The University of Melbourne in 2015, and is currently completing a Master of Fine Arts at RMIT University.
Hayley's arts practice is influenced and informed by being a Koorie woman existing in a contemporary urban culture. She highly values her connection to culture, as place, land, identity and history are all indispensable inspiration to the construction of her practice.
Growing up in an urban culture means Hayley's work has naturally become highly political and engages with both personal and historical issues regarding Indigenous life in intellectual and satirically humorous ways to subtly confront and challenge the general misconceptions of Australian history, and the stigma the follows Australia’s First Nation people.
Utilising photography and collage as her medium of choice, Hayley uses personal imagery of country and native flora and fauna along with digital technologies to open a gateway to create new narratives concerning themes of displacement, alienation, suppression and oppression, connection to culture and land, identity, racism and social confinement. Through new narratives she can argue accepted ideas about Australian Aboriginals and Australia’s White history.
Hayley's practices use of photography and digital-media relates highly to the act of painting. She creates works from fragments of numerous images starting from setting an environment to then include characters that will consequently convey a strong narrative like you would see in a storybook.