Marcus Pascoe is a multidisciplinary artist specialising in sculpture and painting, including figurative wooden sculpture, bark painting, lorrrkkon (memorial poles) and ngorla (didgeridoo). His artistic practice is a contemporary expression of Warrawarra clan cosmology, the artist’s clan whose country lies between Cape Stewart and the the Blyth River in Central Arnhem Land. Pascoe’s primary subject matter is warraburnburn, a wangarra spirit specific to his country Gamurra Gu-yurra. These spirits are generally known as ‘ghost spirits’ and have the capacity to be both malevolent and benign in their character and behaviour towards humans. Pascoe is also a senior ceremony man and performs the songs and dances, bunggul, for Warrawarra songlines. The body designs worn by performers are often depicted by the artist on the torsos of his warraburnburn carvings.
Whilst Burarra people have shared their land with wangarra spirits for generations, representation in fine art form was pioneered by a group of men of the artist’s father’s generation, namely Jimmy An-gunguna and Alec Wurrmala. Whilst working within defined cultural parameters, Marcus has developed a unique and distinctive style, characterised by distinctive block forms and bold patterning and colour palette. Like his forebears, Pascoe works exclusively with natural materials, engaging his extensive botanical knowledge to harvest softwood, natural fibres and ochres to create his works. Pascoe’s artistic practice is a strong expression of his identity and heritage, and also a platform to give broader audiences insight into the rich and complex cultural knowledge systems of his community. Pascoe is currently interested in integrating audio and moving image components to create more evocative and immersive audience experiences.
2019 Tarnanthi Art Fair, Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, Adelaide
2018 Mardayin, Art Kelch, Freiburg, Germany
2018 Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, Darwin Convention Centre, Darwin
2018 From Coast to Escarpment: Spirit Worlds of Maningrida, Michael Reid, Sydney, NSW
2017 White Ochre, FORM, Perth, Australia