Talking Deadly with Travis De Vries and Jason Wing

15 July 2020


Join Travis in conversation with Jason Wing for a discussion of his artwork Captain James Crook (black light), currently on display in the Library’s Eight Days in Kamay exhibition. Jason Wing describes this work as an invitation — an invitation for audiences to take an active role in how they engage with the dual histories present in this country. In his artist’s statement, Jason says: ‘Australians today are still divided on issues surrounding our colonial past. Through this artwork I hope that audiences will begin to rethink the various narratives that exist within Australia’s history.’  

At first glance, Wing’s captain looks every bit the stately depiction we’re used to. But by activating the UV (black) light, we see Cook revealed wearing a balaclava: ‘When I attended high school I was taught that Australia was discovered by Captain James Cook … [but] the truth is that Australia was stolen by armed robbery. History is often written and erased by the victors, so I decided to challenge the colonial history of Australia from an Aboriginal perspective and simply tell the truth.’