LAURIE NILSEN: SPREADING THE WORD
Laurie Nilsen’s Spreading the word has a highly charged theme bringing together images of a introduced species, religious doctrines, and the presentation of language - all as various levels of social and spiritual entrapment. Laurie uses rabbit traps, found objects and iconic forms such as the crucifix to present his witty and thoughtful sculptural ideas.
Laurie continues themes of crossing cultural boundaries alongside his fascination for combining rustic materials with found and fabricated objects. All this amidst his omnipresent wry Aboriginal humour!
Rabbits in this country remain an introduced species. The steel trap remains an icon in Australian bush life, it’s traditional use perhaps now replaced by poison and guns.
Powerful metaphors begin to appear such as ‘spreading the word’ or ‘breeding like rabbits’ and cleverly lace together a broader yet personalised view of the historic role and ramifications of new religions assimilating with Indigenous populations. Whilst the artist understands the spiritual dimension to the various churches, he is more concerned about the political dimension - that is the entrapment of the people if an introduced religion acts as a replacement to Indigenous spirituality.
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