GUARAI

Artist:

Peter Waples-Crowe

Year:

2021

Medium:

mixed media on concertina book

Size:

21 x 147 cm

A neighbouring tribe use to call us Guarai, the hostile ones. Why did they consider us hostile? Was it that we were staunch and fought for out rights. Was it that we had great pride and would defend our Country. I think its all these things.

My partner Ian Kenny bought me a concertina book from Japan which they call Orhions, and since 2016 these books have been a part of my practice as they represent queer love, a love gift between men. The book is a contemporary reimagining of ancient rock art, the layers of time and knowledge and feature the Dingo. The dingo is considered hostile, a pest that gets in the way of colonial progress (livestock farming) and is hunted and baited. Its our native dog but isn’t given the respect it deserves. It doesn’t have the same rights as other natives and to me it’s the queer outsider, fighting to exist and thrive. In this book I celebrate the Dingo and my tribe the Ngarigu, both consider hostile, but both proud and up for survival.