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Claudia Nicholson Unfaithful dogs (1893)

watercolour, copper leaf, diamantes, foil, and pearl pigment on paper

66.5 x 85.5 cm

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