In her practice Mandy Quadrio makes work to counter ongoing myths of Tasmanian Aboriginal extinction. She does this by investigating the complexities of Aboriginal identity through researching cultural objects such as bull kelp, shells, fibres and ochres that are considered in relation to their cultural, historic and aesthetic uses, along with current ecological threats to their preservation and survival. Cultural artefacts are often combined with industrially-manufactured, steel wool, one of her signature materials, that speaks metaphorically to the attempted ‘scrubbing out’ or erasure of Tasmanian Aboriginal people and culture. Her work functions as a refusal to be rendered invisible as she asserts her cultural continuum as a proud Palawa woman.
Current research involves investigating historic Tasmanian Aboriginal artefacts held in European ethnographic museums. Challenging the intellectual siloing of knowledge privileged by traditional museum practice, her work will seek to demonstrate and develop a new model for repositioning collected First Nations cultural objects in rich, holistic contexts once again.
Mandy Quadrio is a Trawlwoolway and Laremairremener, Tasmanian Aboriginal, woman whose ancestral Countries are Tebrakunna, north-east Lutriwita / Tasmania, Australia, and the Oyster Bay Nation of eastern Lutriwita. She is also of European ancestry. Tasmanian Aboriginal people are collectively known as Palawa.
As a Brisbane-based artist, Quadrio works across sculpture, installation, photography and mixed-media. Her art practice functions to uncover personal and cultural histories, narratives and perspectives that journey to the heart of great inaccuracies in Australia’s westernised history telling.
Quadrio has had numerous solo shows nationally across Australia and has been included in major survey shows that include: the Hobiennale 2019 at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart; TarraWarra Biennale 2021, Melbourne; Mona Foma, Tasmania 2022 and ACCA (Australia Centre for Contemporary Art), Melbourne 2023. Her work has been acquired by the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston, Tasmania, St Andrews War Memorial Hospital, Brisbane and various private collections.
Quadrio was awarded her Doctor of Visual Art from the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University in 2021.