Dean Cross to focus on Indigenous Anzacs on Wellington Exchange

One of the ACT’s most talented Aboriginal artists has been chosen to take part in the Canberra Wellington Indigenous Artist Exchange pilot.

Dean Cross will fly to Canberra’s sister city, Wellington in April to explore the shared history of Indigenous Anzacs using photo and video based practices. The project will explore themes of transcultural mourning, Indigenous and non-Indigenous remembrance practices and the complexities of Indigenous National Service in a post-colonial paradigm.

Like many Australians, Dean had an ancestor who lost their life on the 25th April, 1915, at Gallipoli. As an artist he is interested in how one navigates the cultural space of being both proud to be part of the Anzac narrative, but not necessarily supportive of war, especially as it has developed throughout the 20th century.

Dean is particularly interested in the intersections of history where one narrative is championed, whilst another is omitted, particularly in relation to our Indigenous history. By examining trans-cultural mourning his hope is to be able to provide a foundation for deeper cultural empathy toward those who have suffered, and are suffering, from the effects of the current global war situations.

artsACT is working closely with Wellington City Council to select a Māori artist from the Wellington region to spend six weeks here in Canberra during 2018-19. Tailored programs will be developed for each of the artists, to optimise the opportunity and connection within the host community.

About Dean Cross

Dean Cross is a First Nations trans-disciplinary artist.

He has been formally trained in both Contemporary Dance and Sculpture, and works across the sculptural and pictorial fields. Through this he attempts to re-evaluate and re-construct what it means to be Australian in the 21st Century, and how that fits within our globalised world.

He has been involved in numerous exhibitions and prizes including Tarnanthi at The Art Gallery of South Australia (2017), The Churchie Emerging Art Prize (2016), and The Redlands Konica Minolta Art prize (2015). Dean is also on the Board of Directors of QL2 Dance, Australia's premier youth dance company.

Dean was born and raised on Ngunnawal country, however his ancestral roots lie within the Worimi Nation.

Image: Dean Cross with QL2 Dance students

Image: Dean Cross