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Beware of Big Blue Budgies Bearing Gifts

Sharon West

5 July – 2 August 2013

Beware of Big Blue Budgies Bearing Gifts is the latest installment in the pseudo historical narratives Sharon West examines within her art practice. Imagining a colonial landscape inhabited by crypto-zoological specimens and inversions of Australian historical events, the works comment on the absurdities of colonisation.

Sharon references the Batman Treaty gifts given to the Wurundjeri that included beads, looking glasses, blankets and flour. She inverts the 'gift giving' by devising a giant budgie who offers Batman oversized versions of the items.

Her work considers the South Eastern Aboriginal inhabitants and their landscape in terms of acknowledging the dispossession of country. Her landscapes are also inhabited by a host of unlikely historical tourists including Napoleon, Queen Victoria and Gulliver.

The Batman Treaty was signed in Victoria 6 June 1835 by John Batman and Wurundjeri Elders for the purchase of land around Port Phillip.

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