Although born in Brisbane, Queensland, Chris is from the Bungalung people of northern New South Wales.
Her art practice is predominantly concerned with sculptural installations which address different social issues related to her Australian Indigenous heritage. My works address social issues such as assimilation and inequality, both during the early European settlement of Australia and the continuing repercussions still being faced by Indigenous Australians. This is exemplified through her work addressing the subject matter of the stolen generations in both historical and contemporary contexts. In doing so, she explores a range of mediums including photography, wood and mixed media in order to present a critical voice on personal and social levels.
Her premise is further heightened through the craftsmanship employed within her wood carvings. That is, she laboriously carved numerous pairs of children’s shoes as well as different hats in order to imitate the discomfort and difficulties faced by both the adults and the children in homes, institutions, missions, reserves and in a dominantly white society, caused by the attempted eradication, assimilation and eventual domination of the Australian Indigenous people. Using camphor laurel, these carvings symbolically emphasise how European methods and ways of life were foreign and forced upon Indigenous people. Her work also portrays the many achievements of Indigenous people spanning from early settlement through to contemporary society. Depicting this through a Western historical lineage, she comments on the ongoing achievements amongst Indigenous Australians striving for equality in a dominantly white society.
Although Chris uses several different mediums, her preference is wood. She uses wood to meticulously carve material like items, which have an intimate relationship with the concept of the work. The wood lends itself to the form in a realistic manner, while creating a tension between its solidity and the item it is imitating.