Ross Gibson is Centenary Professor in Creative & Cultural Research at the University of Canberra. Recent books include 26 Views of the Starburst World (UWAP), Stone Grown Cold (Cordite Books), Changescapes (UWAP) and Memoryscopes (UWAP).



The brutality of the colonial frontier in Australia is often denied by those who prefer not to see it; or the violence assumes an invisibility-via-banality for those who have seen too much of it and thus become numb to its force. In the mode of creative-practice-led scholarly research, ‘Violence Covers Them as a Garment’ investigates how and to what effect one might redact and redeploy ‘prosaic’ artefacts from the public record in order to establish the veracity and persistence of the violence while also activating emotions of engagement and custodianship to counteract the inaction that so often settles around the aftermaths of settler violence. To this end, the public record is subjected to historical ‘fair review’ as the author brings evidence and agitates against apathy by drawing on texts from historical government archives and from everyday, contemporary photographs of Indigenous country such as they are recorded and requisitioned by companies like Google and other digital mapping agencies.