Department of Land Theft
Is a series of new works by Matthew McAlpine that aims to investigate the role of Government in colonial perpetuation. The artworks subvert and reference the West Australian Government logo whilst disrupting and inserting pointed amendments to Government department names. The artworks set out to critique the role Government has and continues to play in colonial processes such as the denial of culture to Indigenous people, land theft and the occupation of land.
More broadly, the artworks draw on the hi-vis aesthetic synonymous with the Government supported industries, such as mining and construction, as well as the excessiveness of colonial attire, as seen in portraits such as James Stirling’s displayed at Government House, Perth. These industries are suggested to play a strong role in the current-day perpetuation of colonial myths.