Shadow Self explores both positive and negative aspects of our colonialism as a persuasive psychological influence, as that between an adolescent and their parent. Matthew McVeigh sets up our relationship to country and Nation as both intimate and uneasy, exploring the Australian psyche from the cultural cringe – romantic and gothic, and grounded in tradition ruled by National influences that draw their life from the accretive traditions which have alone created them.
This exhibition is a study of stereotypes, colloquialisms and popular culture, as umbilical connection but also incident to our colonial situation of emigrants nostalgically trying to sing their own songs in a strange land.
The works appropriate imagery and then layer psychological inkblots reflecting shadows of personality that the conscious ego does and doesn’t identify with, coming to terms with its dark history and ultimately reflecting a Nation very much still birthing and becoming.
Matthew McVeigh is an interdisciplinary artist who graduated from WAAPA. His practice is predominantly interested in how identities, histories and institutions can be consumed and subsumed into homogenized narratives. McVeigh’s works have been acquired by the Holmes à Court Collection and the Art Gallery of WA.
Image: Blotch, 2022. Digital print, archival. 120 x 150cm