Sydney-based Amrita Hepi’s performances defy classification; but at the core, explore her experiences as a First Nation artist.
Words by: Emma-Kate Wilson
Her body is at the centre of all her performances, but these jump between photo shoots, dances, and artworks with poetic movements, revealing tender stories of discovery. Hepi invites the audience to consider an exploration into cultural narratives of self, and how we present ourselves in society.
It's unusual to think of dance having a democratic presence but, for Hepi it becomes a way to consider accounts that have been ignored and dismissed in contemporary culture. She says, "I hope the performances can work like allegories to open up multiple dialogues."
Hepi reminds us to question things that feel uncomfortable, resisting what is accepted as the truth, recognising societies deep seeded faults on how we treat each other. Sharing, "at the moment, at least, I am looking at instances of hybridity concerning sovereignty for first nations people."
With recent exhibitions at Cement Fondu in Paddington, and her choreographed performance, The Tender (2018-19) in ‘The National’ 2019 at the Art Gallery of NSW. Hepi acts as a culture narrator, thanks to her refreshingly honesty, and using her body to decode cultural structures.
Hepi shares this year will bring a performance as part of the digital-only ‘Real Real’ at Campbelltown Art Centre, and a Perth version of A Call to Dance at PICA, which calls on the audience to share their experiences of heritage, belonging, public expression and cultural authenticity.