Christian Bishop: Monuments to Thieves

Saturday 25 May – Sunday 14 July

Image: Christian Bishop, Orbis Terrarum lI (detail), 2018. Cast Concrete, stainless steel, oil and acrylic pigment. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Sticks. Clay. Concrete and metal. Construction site debris. Monuments to Thieves is an installation exploring landscape and trauma. Christian Bishop summons the landscape of his childhood through rudimentary assemblages of sticks and clay, concrete and found objects. Through these reliquaries of the natural world, Monuments to Thieves is a memorial to landscapes lost.

Christian Bishop (b.1973) is a multidisciplinary artist who works with printmaking, photography, sculpture and sound, drawing these together in immersive installations. Bishop grew up on Melbourne’s rural-urban fringe. He returns to this landscape to explore boundaries and identity, through art that intertwines the grotesque and the beautiful.

In Monuments to Thieves, rudimentary assemblages embedded throughout the exhibition prompt us to question them. Are these objects spiritual signals, or warnings to turn back, or discontinue in this direction. Are they abstract or literal? Are they objects of the manmade or natural world?

Monuments to Thieves couples the problematics of speculation driven property development of a colonised landscape with the spiritual loss of landscape and identity. The exhibition poses the question: ‘how do we identify with our surrounding landscape when it is in continual flux and upheaval?’