Amala Groom and Nicole Monks have worked both independently and collaboratively as multi-disciplinary arts practitioners. Their practices act as a performance of their cultural sovereignty; creatively expressed through the meetings of new technologies and ancient knowledges. Their works are focused on exploring the indivisibility of the human experience and assert the embodiment of the ‘living mirror’ that exists as the Aboriginal experience – reflecting the mirror across contemporary society so that others may see themselves in the artists.
Amala Groom is a Wiradyuri conceptual artist whose practice, as the performance of her cultural sovereignty, is informed and driven by First Nations epistemologies, ontologies and methodologies. Her work, a form of passionate activism, presents acute and incisive commentary on contemporary socio-political issues. Articulated across diverse media, Groom’s work often subverts and unsettles western iconographies in order to enunciate Aboriginal stories, experiences and histories, and to interrogate and undermine the legacy of colonialism. Informed by extensive archival, legislative and first-person research, Groom’s work is socially engaged, speaking truth to take a stand against hypocrisy, prejudice, violence and injustice.
Across her practice Groom proactively seeks to dismantle the Colonial Project by asserting the argument that colonialism is not just disadvantageous for the First Peoples but is in fact antithetical to the human experience. On a deeper note, Groom’s intent is to make work that speaks to The Union of all Peoples and to the indivisibility of the human experience that traverses race, class, gender and religious worship. Groom is a solo practitioner who works with her family, community and extensive economic, cultural, political, legal and social networks to both inform, lead and drive her practice. Groom works collaboratively with individuals and groups on a project by project basis.
Nicole Monks is a trans-disciplinary artist of Yamatji Wajarri, Dutch and English heritage. Monks is informed by her cross-cultural identity and her work takes its focus from storytelling, as a way to connect the past with the present and future. Her designs and artworks take a conceptual approach, often embedded with narratives, and aim to promote cross-cultural understanding and communication. A designer by trade, Monks crosses artforms to work with furniture, installation, textiles, video, photography and performance. Across these varied forms of contemporary art and design, her work reflects Aboriginal philosophies of sustainability, innovation and collaboration.