‘A Sullen Perfume’ is a continuation of Cross’ nuanced evaluation of 21st-century life through retellings of personal narrative, collective culture and references to Country. Steeped with rich layers of meaning drawn from a diverse array of sources, Cross takes us on a complex journey of enquiry.
A series of loose canvases and framed drawings are transformed into strange, topographical explorations of both landscape and portraiture. He imparts, ‘every Aboriginal person is a landscape through their connection to Country, and so every self-portrait can be read as a landscape.’ A wallpaper depicting a larger-than-life Ford Laser in flames is, perhaps, an allegory for contemporary Australian life; what led us to this point, and what comes next?
Punctuated by language, ambiguous forms and collage, Cross questions that which we take for granted and offers us an uncomfortable view of ourselves and our current ecological, cultural and political reality.
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