Born 1957, Maryborough, Queensland. KuKu (Cape York) and Erub/Mer (Torres Strait) people. Lives and works Melbourne.
Destiny Deacon is a descendant of the Kuku (far-North Queensland) and Erub/Mer (Torres Strait) people. An artist, broadcaster and political activist, her performative photographs, videos and installations feature members of her family and friends posing for the camera as well as items from her collection of ‘Aboriginalia’ – assorted black dolls and kitsch. Partly autobiographical and partly fictitious, her acerbic and melancholic work deals with both historical issues and contemporary Aboriginal life and is informed by personal experience and the mass media. Deacon’s humorous works examine the wide discrepancies between the representation of Aboriginal people by the white Australian population and the reality of Aboriginal life. In her ‘lo-tech’ productions, Deacon creates an insightful comedy that is effective in establishing a discourse about political, Indigenous and feminist concerns.
Deacon has been exhibiting since the early 1990s in solo and group shows. She was selected for the 2014 Dong Gang International Photo Festival, South Korea; the 2014 TarraWarra Biennial, TarraWarra Museum of Art, Healesville; the 2009 Havana Biennale, Havana, Cuba; Revolutions – Forms that Turn, Biennale of Sydney, Sydney (2008); and Culture Warriors: The National Indigenous Art Triennial, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (2007). Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in the USA, Canada, Italy, Austria, Poland, Latvia, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and New Caledonia.
Deacon’s work is held in the major state galleries of Australia, and in many regional, corporate and university collections.