The title of this work refers to the poem Faithful dogs by Australian writer Mary Gilmore, who lived briefly in New Australia – a failed utopian settlement in Paraguay. I have imagined New Australia to be a community of Amazons. Through my work, I explore the ways in which we navigate the complexities of identity in a post-colonial context. I am particularly interested in New Australia as I share with Australian descendants a dissymmetric cultural identity and nostalgia for a homeland I do not know. Unfaithful dogs (1983) conflates Central and South American folklore with pop culture, and reconfigures colonial-period woodcuts of indigenous peoples of the Amazon.
Claudia Nicholson, 2018