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Sydney, NSW, Australia
Born in Sydney in 1976, Troy-Anthony Baylis is a painter, textile artist, installation artist and performance artist. A descendant of the Jawoyn Aboriginal people from the Katherine region in the Northern Territory, Baylis grew up in country towns in New South Wales and Queensland prior to moving to Brisbane in 1989. Since 2000 he has lived and worked in Adelaide. Baylis’s multi-faceted artistic practice is founded in the process of ‘queering’ and unsettling traditional ways of representing Aboriginality. His practice is emotional, politically provocative, visually arresting, and deeply personal. He has exhibited widely across Australia and internationally, having exhibited and performed across New Zealand, the Philippines, Iceland and Germany. He is currently undertaking a PhD on the subject of ‘Deadly Mimicry: Indigeneity and Drag in Contemporary Artistic Representation.’ Troy-Anthony Baylis’s work is informed by his multi-layered identity, and whilst he cites his Indigeneity and sexuality as important parts of his work and his identity, being representational of his generation is of the utmost importance to him. In its assertions of identity, the drag performance offers Baylis a vehicle for sexual, social and political liberation. He has stated that ‘[I] want to use drag to liberate myself both personally and culturally from repression and conservatism’. In 2009 Baylis created the digital collage series Making Camp which Baylis intruded upon the colonial landscapes of Glover, Johnstone and Martens, playfully imposing his drag persona along with photographs of works from his (pink) Poles series onto the works. He cites early experiences knitting with his grandmothers and mother as being influential in his practice. The Postcard series (2010-11) includes artefacts representing private dialogues between geographically dispersed networks of ‘sistas’, where objects are reconstructed from Glomesh and other upcycled artificial fabrics. There are parallels between the ‘high-ceremony’ of the cross-cultural ‘Postcard’ exchange to the 19th/20th century colonial practice of adorning respected Aboriginal peoples with symbolic ‘breastplates’ denoting status and honour. Writers: Ben Messih duggim Date written: 2013 Last updated: 2013
b. 1976
Since graduating with an Honours Visual Art degree in 1997, Troy-Anthony Baylis has exhibited widely in Australia and overseas. His art practice draws from popular culture icons such as Andy Warhol, Kylie Minogue and Barbara Cartland. He is also a pioneer of contemporary art knitting.
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