The Legacy of Lesser Gods

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Primary Supervisor

Woodrow, Ross

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Hoffie, Patricia

Shaw, Elizabeth

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2016
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Abstract

This project highlights deeply embedded links between religion, economics, and power in colonial societies of the ‘West’, with a particular focus on Australia. Archival imagery and historical texts are examined to demonstrate the negative influences of particular monotheistic ideas and notions of supremacy. It is argued that these prevailing views have been adopted in the global propagation of Christian faith over many centuries. The imagery is paired with historical examples that demonstrate a conversion mentality that aimed to control any alternative practices of divine worship and associated culture. The legacy is then brought to bear on the contemporary treatment of Australian Aboriginal people. These themes of power and dominion—in particular, how religion and economic control served colonialism and empire building over time—have become the foundation for the primary outcomes expressed through the studio production. The creative outputs of my doctoral research include a major installation entitled Lesser Gods and associated exhibition projects, which will be discussed and analysed in this exegesis.

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Thesis Type

Thesis (PhD Doctorate)

Degree Program

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

School

Queensland College of Art

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The author owns the copyright in this thesis, unless stated otherwise.

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Public

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Subject

Aboriginal Australians and colonial history

Christian faith and negativity

Aboriginal Australians culture

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