With both French and Aboriginal ancestry, Christopher Pease’s mixed-race roots are reflected in his paintings, which incorporate Indigenous iconography with western styles to explore the tensions and contradictions that resulted from European colonisation.
Many of Pease’s works explore the construction of the image of the Indigenous person throughout colonial history. His works critique power structures by inverting the relationship between ‘the painter’ and ‘the painted’. By adopting the painting style of the early European settlers, Pease references the way colonisers categorised and de-contextualised Indigenous Australians – much in the same way that they claimed, sectioned off, and bought and sold the land.
Prior to starting work, Pease undertakes extensive research into the locations he is painting. Heavily influenced by early colonial artwork sent back to Europe depicting Europeans interacting with Indigenous peoples, he is also influenced by historical documentation of his immediate family. An ongoing interest in science has led to the coexistence in his work of science, logic, spirituality and mysticism.
Pease’s work was included in the 17th Biennale of Sydney in 2010. His work is held in significant public and corporate collections including the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, and the Kerry Stokes Collection.Download CV