Flags 2 – Peter Drew
Jan Murphy Gallery is pleased to present the new exhibition from Peter Drew, ‘Flags 2’.
These flags are remade in the artist’s hands and given a palpable materiality. Aggressively stripped of their official governmentality with various power tools, they are enmeshed with another layer of official government record. Photographic portraits from the National Archive, once tiny and hidden, are given a bold presence and a reverent monumentality. These photographs also feature within Drew’s ongoing AUSSIE poster project which has garnered widespread public attention and support.
The Flag paintings intensify Drew’s scrutiny of national identity. In giving recognition to the faces, names and stories of these exempted citizens from racial minorities, Drew not only rewrites our recent colonial past but also draws attention to the nation state’s ongoing mechanisms for population control, and in turn leading us to wonder about those whose faces might form part of the contested terrain of today’s Australia.
(Text by Beth Jackson, 2021)
Born in Adelaide (1983), Drew studied Psychology and Philosophy, then Art History at the University of Adelaide before doing his Masters at the Glasgow School of Art. His work is held in major public institutions including the National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of South Australia, State Library of New South Wales and the Victorian Immigration Museum.
Image credit: Peter Drew, FLAG 15 Moolah (of Cairns) 1909, 2021, screen print, giclee print, acrylic and sewn nylon flag on board, 184.0 x 94.0 cm (detail)