Promiscuous Provenance will interrogate the strangeness of the early colonial artists’ first encounters with the Australian landscape. Using a range of different media, artist Anna Glynn will populate her own antipodean world with strange hybrid manifestations to invoke curiosity and wonder.
Promiscuous Provenance encourages a re-examining of our relationship with our colonial past. Glynn is drawn to the work of the early colonial artists, including John Hunter, the Port Jackson Painter, and George Raper. As artists seeing a new world of flora and fauna for the first time, their works illustrate the strangeness of this encounter; in his journal, Hunter describes the creatures he sees as coming about through “a promiscuous intercourse between the different sexes of all these different animals”.
For an artist working in the 21st century, the inability of the colonial artists to see the Australian landscape as it was, but rather to represent their alien surroundings using known forms and animal shapes from Europe, is both beguiling and symbolic; is our identity as Australians built on a strange hybrid history, a ‘Promiscuous Provenance’?