Self-portrait with flowers (presumed native), 2015 by Liam James

image of Self-portrait with flowers (presumed native) 2015 by Liam James

Artist's statement

This portrait is a personal grappling with my family’s mythology, an enquiry into the birth of ancestral stories and a presentation of my own need for identification.  Under the colonial process, history is skewed. Things stated turn out to be fable. Here, in a Tasmanian context, with an erasure so rapid and terrifying, gaps in history and knowledge are typical. I grew up identifying as a fair-skinned Tasmanian Aboriginal, but when I learnt about my heritage the waters muddied and threads of histories started to tangle. So here I stand, hands clutching misconceptions; flowers are my allegory.