What does it mean to be a ‘real Australian’ in an age of globalised citizenship? Individual and collective identity are now moderated by economic, political, religious and cultural influences. Adelaide-based artist, Peter Drew, was inspired by the second verse of Advance Australia Fair to consider the nation’s approach to multiculturalism.
For those who’ve come across the seas
We’ve boundless plains to share
With courage let us all combine
To Advance Australia Fair
From this foundation, Drew developed a series of street activations. These questioned national identity, community inclusivity, as well as current and historical immigration policies.
Delving into the archives of state and national cultural collections, Drew revitalises the histories of Australia’s enduring ethnic diversity during the era of White Australia policies. Reproducing official government photographs as screen printed posters, the aesthetics and techniques of his street art melds past and present.
Peter Drew is a printmaker, street artist and filmmaker. After studying philosophy, psychology and art history at the University of Adelaide he completed a Master’s Degree at the Glasgow School of Art. Drew’s public art, although posted anonymously, has gained him notoriety. He was the winner of the 2016 Governor’s Multicultural Award and a finalist for Australian of the Year, 2016. His prints are held in state and national cultural collections, including Art Gallery of South Australia, the National Gallery of Australia and the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. The most prominent display of his work can be seen on city streets and rural areas across Australia.