Retribution: What happens next: Northern Centre for Contemporary Art

Johnathon World Peace Bush

29 Sep - 12 Nov 2022

Northern Centre for Contemporary Art

3 Vimy Lane, Parap, Northern Territory


At the start of our life on Earth, each one of us is born into a framework of responsibility to the collective. Whether this manifests as duty to family, kin, community, ancestors, gods or ecologies, these responsibilities embed us meaningfully within our wider environment. In exchange for being reared as children and held as adults, there is an unspoken expectation upon us to reciprocate this care by upholding what our communities deem to be good and proper in life. This ‘good and proper’ has always been contextually defined (and continuously redefined), but across the board we are now experiencing communal systems of care shifting from their central position within human organisation to make way for the capitalist imperative of ruthless competition. As the social contract gives way to this new emphasis on individualism at all costs, interconnective and interrelational ways of being are trampled in our desperation to survive. As a result, our duties to the human project—such as custodianship of the land/seas, community care, group identification and collective ritual—are increasingly neglected; overshadowed by the increasing pressure to trade what holds collective value to secure our personal livelihoods.

Showcasing recent works by eleven Northern Territory artists, Retribution: What happens next, asks: What fate awaits us for passing on less than what those before gave us? And what will this fate look like? Whether it’s served as payback, atonement, purgatory or plain old revenge, Retribution delivers a cautionary tale whose warning we must heed if we are to withstand the reckoning dealt to us by this world-in-crisis.

Featuring recent works by Franca Barraclough, Rupert Betheras, Fabian Brown, Johnathon World Peace Bush, Liss Fenwick, Crystal Love Johnson Kerinaiua with Francis Jules Kapijiyi Orsto and Jens Johnita Cheung, Elizabeth Martin, Eve Pawlik and Matthew van Roden. Curated by Carmen Ansaldo, exhibition design by Kate Fennell.

Proudly sponsored by the Northern Territory Government.