Transform into the animal you need to
Transform into the animal you need to is an exhibition investigating ideas of how nostalgia and place feeds into one’s identity. The intention of the artist is to create new personal, symbolic meanings through representations of animals. For Anthea Kemp, the pony, poodle, bat and spoonbill relate to a state of nostalgia for place. The place is farmland and bush that she grew up on and continues to return to in north east Victoria. Two of these animals are domesticated introduced species that Anthea has had close and caring relationships with. The others belong to the place, they are animals appreciated from afar– in nature–still mysterious and inspiring. This physical place is also a personal and psychological place. Representing herself through animals in this place helps to reproduce her nostalgia and memory, as well as adding an extreme romanticised notion: to ‘animorph’ herself into creatures she has had meaningful and ongoing relationships with.
Anthea Kemp would like to acknowledge the un-ceded Bpangarang country of the Yorta Yorta Nation that she has lived on, continues to return to and source inspiration from in her art making, and to the elders past, present and future. Anthea would like to acknowledge that the Bpangarang people have been making, creating and living here for thousands and thousands of years before European settlement. Anthea has taken on a responsibility in researching the history, heritage, and philosophy of Australia’s first people’s land, including Bpangarang country and people, as she continues to make art about her own personal history of this place.