Gordon Bennett in a global perspective
When Gordon Bennett completed art school in 1988 his Aboriginality made him an unusual university graduate and an equally rare presence in the Australian art world. In European thinking the Aborigine is the archetypal outsider. Thus typecast where else could Bennett go, especially since the game had been played so often that it had become real. The alienation of the outsider is felt in a deep-seated trauma or a structural unsettlement that continually reappears in his work. It is evident in much of his subject matter, the early Outsider (1988) being a classic example - but also in the way his compositions are shadowed by an enduring emptiness, an irretrievable loss, as if his eyes had been torn out before he was cast into the world.