Robert Farley


Work created as part of the Pool Grant


All Our Strains is a photographic exhibition which is a critical exploration of the Australian national anthem. The photographic installation is comprised of 54 images that each represent a word - reimagined pictorially - in the politically charged song “Advance Australia Fair.”

Strongly influenced by the work of Derrida and aims to deconstruct and reconstruct meaning - taking words with loaded connotation and disempowering said words by expressing new definitions. All Our Strains employs use of Post-Structural thought systems to express a contemporary meditation upon Australian identity politics.

Having shot medium format landscape between Melbourne and Alice Springs. These remarkable colour scapes are reminiscent of late-career Rothko and pay homage to the emotional nature of Australian colour worlds - unique and spiritual. Further, these vivid colour washes and horizons act as background tones to a series of contemporary portraiture of young Australians. Through a post-modern pastiche, these photographic works seek to imbue an outdated touchstone with a critical, emotive optimism. These images act as alternative horizons and cultural mirages. All Our Strains is a sanguine study of Australian identity; with the aim to encourage discourse around the unquestioned omnipotence of colonial superstructures and what they do truly say about us as a nation.