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Michael Jalaru Torres
4 November, 2017 - 18 November, 2017
Opening night: Saturday 4 November, 6pm
Building on a successful debut solo exhibition, Michael Jalaru Torres presents Scar II. This intimate series of photographic works showcases modern and traditional stories of the connection between people, the country and the past. Capturing the vibrant colours of the landscape and the raw emotion of his people, Michael explores Australia’s first peoples’ language of design, oral histories and legacy of trauma and loss. His images incorporate line-work and patterns which reflect traditional lore and practices of marking the landscape, objects and the skin. Scarification and carvings on wood and shell are timeless markings which speak of songlines. Today new markings are made with inks, pigments, metal and digital code. This reveals the contemporary life of first peoples in the new global connected world. Michael’s images tell a powerful story of the scars which mark people and the land. The exhibition is about getting under the surface, scraping away the layers to get to the story.
Generations of Australia’s first people have scarred skin for lore, while carving wood, stone and shell for hunting and ceremony. They have witnessed nature’s shaping of country while experiencing other men’s hunger to scar the country for wealth. Lines and markings have created a unique visual language that coexists with oral history, songlines shared on country, and a cultural connection from before time to present day. Adapting and surviving through colonisation, the new scars of survival are more often hidden from plain sight.
About the Artist
Michael Jalaru Torres is an Indigenous artist from Broome who specialises in photography and new media practices. He identifies as a Yawuru and Djugan man with tribal links to the Gooniyandi people of the Fitzroy Valley. His conceptual portraiture draws on historical, cultural and personal narratives. It incorporates line-work and designs which reflect Australia’s first peoples’ lore and practices of marking the landscape, objects and skin. Michael uses innovative and contemporary approaches to explore traditions and history. Beautiful yet thought-provoking, his work challenges audiences to address the legacy of colonialism in Australia.