Represented Australia at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017, Tracey Moffatt is one of Australia’s most renowned contemporary artists. Working predominantly in photography, film and video, Moffatt is known as a powerful visual storyteller. The narrative is often implied and self-referential, exploring her own childhood memories and fantasies, and the broader issues of race, gender, sexuality and identity.
The Suburban Landscapes series offers a universal meditation on the significance of land and place to the construction of identity. This highly personal body of work explores the physical presence of “home.” Images depicting locales in suburban Brisbane that the artist roamed as a youth, have been overlaid with texts that relate certain key memories she associates with these spaces, the psychically charged slogans contrasting sharply with an almost childlike innocence suggested by the stenciled crayon lettering. Coloured by the high-keyed emotions of first time experiences, the text acts like a semi-transparent veil of distant memory over the streets of her youth. Moffatt speaks of how the memories reflect a child’s fears and delights: the forbidden rush of stealing a chocolate bar; being pushed, terrified, against a wall by bullies; the act of throwing soft flower petals in the street. A delicate beauty adheres to these prosaic streetscapes through their association with the bittersweet moments of personal history that unfolded there.
View full series of Suburban Landscapes, 2013