Sharon West
Mixed media
© 2008

Gubbaworld is derived from the Koori name for white people. The exhibition parodies the notion of the museum diorama cabinet and is inspired by past museum (mis)practices. The work is constructed in both a 2D and 3D format, and offers a pseudo-historical narrative of Victorian settler history. Drawing on references from the Aboriginal dioramas of Melbourne Museum and the Great Colonial Exhibitions of the late 1800s, the work’s themes focus on settler and Indigenous contact, offering parables and inversions that satirise the ideas of the great Southern land, the Noble Savage and white colonisation.

GUBBAWORLD: Colonial Pseudo-Histories and other Follies feature the themes:

Terra Incognita (The Unknown Land) – Scenes of an isle of designer dogs, yowies, big budgies, giant eels and octopuses.
An Indigenous Picturesque – Considering Ruskian notions of paradise, where the noble savage lives in harmony with his landscape – albeit in a long-lost ruined monastic site. "This is what England must either do or perish, she must found colonies as fast and as far as she is able." J. Ruskin 1870.
A New Jerusalem – Parodying notions of the transplantation of British culture onto the Indigenous landscape and the discovery of the holy grail on Flagstaff hill.
Batmania – A surreal re-imagining of early colonial Melbourne with tourists camped out to witness the popular Koori sport of sheep spearing.
Black Wednesday, Thursday and Friday – Mother Nature’s revenge and the land ravaged by bushfires, pestilence and really big sheep.

Sharon will be presenting her work alongside Koori Allsorts.