Dr Christian Thompson AO: Bayi Gardiya (Singing Desert)

Dr Christian Thompson AO: Bayi Gardiya (Singing Desert)


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1–23 May 2019

Christian Thompson invites audiences to walk through the landscape of his childhood, where they witnessed a simple yet profound aesthetic gesture of the artist singing in his traditional Bidjara language, a recognised lost language.

About the artist

Christian Thompson is the first recipient of the Mordant Family VR Commission, a three-year program worth $240,000 that supports Australian artists who have never worked in VR before to create new works in this medium, funded in partnership with Professor Cav. Simon Mordant AO and Catriona Mordant AM, the City of Melbourne and ACMI.

Christian Thompson is a contemporary artist whose work explores notions of identity, cultural hybridity, and history; often referring to the relationships between these concepts and the environment. Formally trained as a sculptor, Thompson’s multidisciplinary practice engages mediums such as photography, video, sculpture, performance, and sound. His work focuses on the exploration of identity, sexuality, gender, race, and memory. In 2010 Thompson made history when he became one of the first two Aboriginal Australians to be admitted into the University of Oxford in its 900-year history.

Facebook | Instagram | Christian's website

Christian Thompson is represented by Michael Reid Gallery, Sydney / Berlin and Sarah Scout Presents, Melbourne.

Bayi Gardiya credits

  • Creative technology studio: Nakatomi
  • Performed by Christian Thompson
  • Composed by Christian Thompson and Mark Mitchell
  • Sound production by Mark Mitchell at Electric Dreams Studio
  • With special thanks to Rachael Sheridan, Jeanette Little and Leyla Varela

Commission Partners

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Our commissions support the creation of new works by providing artists with the time and resources to nurture and develop ideas, to pursue cross-disciplinary collaborations and to work at a scale that would not otherwise be possible.

Zanny Begg, The Beehive, 2018; courtesy the artist. Photograph by Philippa Bateman, featuring Koco Carey