Contrecoup is a medical term used to describe a contusion resulting from the brain contacting the skull on the side opposite from where an impact occurs. For Paton the terms offers a descriptive of his practice, which seeks to operate in the fissures between indigenous and non-indigenous histories, ideas and materialism. The exhibition includes a cross-section of recent series by Paton, as well as discrete singular works.
Paton’s CH paintings are based on the little known cave paintings on Gunai lands, while his Muraskin works reference the Guani word for ‘musket’ and the well documented armed confrontations with colonial squatters and authorities – some of the bloodiest in the white (re)settlement of Australia. The Sickness is a ongoing series of works that re-appropriates Tony Clark’s Myriorama series, which its based on the panoptic surveillance, and thereby ownership, of terra nullis. Other works in the exhibition reconfigure needlepoint scenes of colonial Australia, model-making and colonial intervention into the indigenous landscape.
Steaphan Paton (b. Mildura, 1985) is a member of the Gunai/Moreno Nations. Paton completed an MFA from the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, Melbourne (2016), Archeological Field School, Flinders University, Adelaide (2009) and a Bachelor of Environmental Science, Deakin University, Melbourne (2007). Recent exhibitions include Muraskin, Tristian Koenig, Melbourne (2017); Sovereignty, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2016); 33rd Telstra National ATSI Art Awards, Museum and Art Gallery of Northern Territory, Darwin (2016); Re-visioning Histories. Bundoora Homestead, Bundoora (2016); Ngujarn and Nakun: Belonging in the Other, Koorie Heritage Trust, Melbourne (2016) Primavera, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2015) and Murruwaygu, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2015). Paton’s work is held in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Melbourne Museum, Melbourne; Brooklyn Art Library, New York; Gippsland Art Gallery, Wellington Shire Council, Sale; City of Yarra, Melbourne; City of Darebin, Melbourne; Deep Space, Melbourne, and private collections in Australia, United States and Europe. In 2018 Paton will present a solo exhibition at the redevelopment Gippsland Art Gallery, Wellington Centre, on traditional Gunai lands.