Dr. Christian Thompson AO Named Adjunct Industry Associate Professor at RMIT

RMIT University is thrilled to announce the appointment of Dr Christian Thompson AO as Adjunct Industry Associate Professor within its renowned School of Art and School of Fashion and Textiles.

This appointment recognises Thompson’s extensive professional practice as an internationally acclaimed artist and role model for young Indigenous artists. Thompson is also an alum of RMIT University.

As an Adjunct Industry Associate Professor, Thompon will build on his existing engagement with RMIT and work with students and staff on a variety of projects.

Professor Alice Payne, Dean of Fashion and Textiles, said Thompson’s impressive career over the past 20 years and the themes explored through his practice will make a valued contribution to both the School of Art and School of Fashion and Textiles.

“The role of identity, performance, body and material are central themes in Christian’s work, and we are excited to include his expertise in our learning and teaching programs as well as part of our work to promote and embed responsible practice in all we do,” Professor Payne said.

“Christian was a wonderful mentor earlier this year as part of Blak Design, a creative practice program we run in partnership with the Koorie Heritage Trust, and we can’t wait to collaborate with him further.”

A highly active practicing artist, Thompson is currently presenting his series ‘House of Gold’ at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art in Sydney, is part of the group exhibition ‘Hair Pieces’ at Heide Museum of Modern Art and is showing a solo exhibition ‘Limerence’ at Sarah Scout Presents in Collingwood.

Earlier this year, he was featured in the Marina Abramovic Institute Takeover at the Adelaide Festival, having been mentored by Marina in 2015 at Kaldor Art Projects Sydney.

Thompson said it is with great pleasure that he accepts the appointment.

“I feel honoured to be able to build my long-standing relationship with the University and the School of Art, as well as build on the recent work with Blak Design in partnership with the Koorie Heritage Trust and the School of Fashion and Textiles.

“I very much look forward to advocating for the issues that affect my community as a Bidjara First Nations person and making a significant contribution to the dynamic academic and community life at RMIT,” he said.

Thompson made history in 2010 as the Inaugural Charlie Perkins Scholar, becoming the first Indigenous person to be admitted into the University of Oxford in its 900-year history. He holds a DPhil of Fine Art from Trinity College and is a Research Affiliate at the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford.

In 2018 Christian was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s birthday honours list for distinguished service to the visual arts as a sculptor, photographer, video and performance artist, and as a role model for young Indigenous artists.

Professor Kit Wise, Dean of Art said it is wonderful to welcome Thompson back to RMIT and the School of Art.

“Christian is one our most distinguished alumni and so we are delighted to see him appointed in this role,” he said.

“Alongside his extraordinary international career as an artist, Christian is also an exemplar to all our students as a thinker and advocate.

“We welcome the chance to collaborate with him on critical creative practice in a range of art forms, which I believe will go on to inform our programs from first year to PhD.”