Looking at these works, I think, ‘oh man, if she had been sent to Venice in the mid-to-late 1990s…’ [Moffatt showed at the Venice Biennale in 2017.]
I came across the Something more and Scarred for life series at around the same time, and the two are tied together for me because they come from a strong sense of identity and both have a clear political message too, which is not how Tracey operates these days.
She’s a filmmaker as well as a photographer, and this comes through in her photographs. Her work is like a storyboard, or a graphic novel. The images tell a story and are often quite cinematic, which is completely intentional.
Mother’s Day, 1975 from the Scarred for life series is an image that stands out for me. There are a few things happening in it. There’s domestic violence, and an Aboriginal context because the girl in the photograph is a young Aboriginal girl and we assume her mother is also Aboriginal. It’s a violent image. There’s this flash of anger in her, but there’s power in that – usually when people discuss domestic violence we think of a woman’s bruised face, not the actual strike.