Crista Bradshaw is a proud Wangkumaran Contemporary artist. Residing in Adelaide South Australia, Bradshaw grew up without much of a connection to her Wangkumaran heritage and later came to discover that through the process of colonisation and dispossession, her family had lost its relationship with their language group. It was only in her late teens that Bradshaw began to look deeper and re-establish this connection.
Bradshaw’s practice has since evolved from a merely surface-level interpretation of Western and Aboriginal art separately, into a much more refined exploration into the inner workings of each and how they relate/fit together to expand on each other. Being of both Aboriginal Australian and European descent, Crista Bradshaw is discovering how these two parts of her identity can unify through an exploration of culture and self. Further examining how contemporary Aboriginal and Western art can be combined to reflect the healing of colonization in Australia.
She works within a mixed disciplinary approach, having worked with forms of expanded painting, sculpture and installation. She investigates how these can better represent the ways in which Indigenous and Australian art has evolved and, in extension, the evolution of Indigenous Australia. With in-depth knowledge of Indigenous dreaming, dot painting, contemporary painting practices and techniques, Bradshaw employs a deep understanding of both cultural importance and unity between these art forms.
Bradshaw completed a Bachelor’s of Contemporary Art in 2022 and is currently undertaking her Honour’s degree in Creative Arts at the University of South Australia. Her Honour's project is centred around an Indigenous Methodology of research into her Mobs history and disconnection. A key ongoing concern for Crista is exploring the ways that contemporary art, using combinations of media and modes of presentation, can communicate the losses and absences that are a consequence of colonial dispossession and the traumatic separation of people from Country, and Country from people.
In 2017 Crista Bradshaw presented her work as a part of the all-Indigenous exhibition, “Stories” presented by the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre and supported by The City of Adelaide, at the Kerry Packer Civic Gallery. She was selected to participate in the 2020 exhibition “A quarter turn around the sun” presented at the SASA Gallery. In 2021 she was awarded the Trevor Nicholls art grant for exhibiting great artistic promise. For her work generated in the final year of her bachelor’s degree and shown at the exhibition “Epoch” (at the University of South Australia), she was presented with the President of the Friends of SASA award. In 2023 her work, “Yawara muku nura (language graveyard)” was selected as part of the Helpmann Graduate Exhibition at ACE gallery and her work won the SALA award for this year. She has also since exhibited at the Mill in their "Still Self” exhibition.
2017-2022 | Bachelor of Contemporary Art, University of South Australia
2023-Now | Bachelor of Creative Arts (Honours), University of South Australia
Awards & Grants
2023 | Helpmann Academy Creative Development Grant
2023 | Shared Arts Residency Prize
2023 | 2023 SALA Award
2022 | President of the Friends of the South Australian School of Art Prize
2021 | Trevor Nickolls Aboriginal Student Art Grant
2018 | The Mill SALA Workshop prize
2023 | Solo Exhibition, gawa nali yanta-ra nanta nura-anani (come on, we’ll go to my camp), Online
2023 | Group Exhibition, OUR MOB: Art by South Australian Aboriginal Artists, Kaurna Yarta, Adelaide, SA
2023 | SALA Festival Jarvis Škoda Art Car, Kaurna Yarta, Adelaide, SA
2023 | Group Exhibition, Still Self, The Mill, Kaurna Yarta, Adelaide, SA
2023 | Group Exhibition, Helpmann Academy: Graduate Exhibition 2023, Adelaide Contemporary Experimental, Kaurna Yarta, Adelaide, SA
2022 | Group Exhibition, Epoch, University of South Australia, Kaurna Yarta, Adelaide, SA
2020 | Group Exhibition, A quarter turn around the sun, SASA Gallery, Kaurna Yarta Adelaide, SA
2017 | Group Exhibition, Stories, Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, Kaurna Yarta Adelaide, SA (curated by Nikki Carabetta-Baugh)