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Dean Cross | Terra inFirma

by beth sorensen


Dean Cross
Born on Ngunnawal/Ngambri Country and of Worimi descent
Lives and works in Sydney
FOLLY, 2020
Camping chair, vintage ceramic ashtray, cigarettes, used matches, Parkes NSW RSL Members medallion, Holden car key, white wine, wine glass, lipstick, framed commemorative Redheads matchbox, vinyl text.

In a small park east of the Melbourne CBD, a small brick building can be seen emerging from behind a web of climbing ivy. It is ‘Cook’s Cottage’. In 1934 a decision was made to have this relic deconstructed brick-by-brick from its original foundations in Yorkshire, England, and transported to our fatal shores to find its final resting place on Wurundjeri Country. Once there, the cottage was rebuilt with excruciating attention to detail and an almost unbelievable level of verisimilitude.

FOLLY acknowledges the Djab Wurrung trees, and their mistreatment, as a point of critical difference to Cook’s Cottage. On 10 August this year, the 800 year old birthing tree was denied the same level of heritage protection given to Cook’s Cottage, a place where Cook himself never lived. On the same day as the Djab Wurrung trees were denied their protection, Sussan Ley, Federal Minister for the Environment, announced the heritage listing of the Parkes radio telescope. This is colonialism in action.

Dean Cross was born and raised on Ngunnawal/Ngambri Country and is of Worimi descent. He is a trans-disciplinary artist primarily working across installation, sculpture and photography. His career began in contemporary dance, performing and choreographing nationally and internationally for over a decade with Australia’s leading dance companies. Following that Dean re-trained as a visual artist, gaining his Bachelor’s Degree from Sydney College of the Arts, and his First Class Honours from the ANU School of Art and Design.

Dean has shown his work extensively across Australia. This includes the Indigenous Ceramic Prize at the Shepparton Art Musuem, curated by Anna Briers and Belinda Briggs (2018), Tarnanthi at the Art Gallery of South Australia, curated by Nici Cumpston (2017), RUNS DEEP a solo show at Alaska Projects, Sydney (2018), The Churchie Emerging Art Prize (2016), The Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize (2015), and the Macquarie Group Emerging Art Prize (2015) where his work was awarded the Highly Commended prize by artist Joan Ross. In 2018 Dean has also exhibited at the Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney, as a part of the NEXTWAVE Festival Melbourne, with curator Amelia Winata, and at Artbank, Sydney in Talia Smith’s In a World of Wounds. Also, Dean has been a year-long Artist in Residence at the Canberra Contemporary Art Space (CCAS). Dean was also selected to be a part of the 4A Beijing Studio Residency Program in Beijing, China.