8 used toothbrush heads, clear casting resin
Photography by Rhiannon Hopley and James Tylor 2016
Untitled (series) is comprised of toothbrushes I’ve brushed my teeth with prior to encasing in resin. Anthropological expeditions all over the country have in the past set up research camps to collect samples of hair and bodily fluids from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, in attempts to draw comparisons between cultures. In exchange for their genetic samples, subjects were often rewarded with sugar lollies and other token gifts. The data collected was used to categorise and quantify First Nations people within a western scientific framework, with published articles and books often suggesting evidence of a less evolved culture. The echoes of these sentiments continue today within social and political structures throughout Australia. In this work, I’ve collected samples of my own DNA for the viewer to study and interpret, encouraging a closer look at how a person’s genetics influence their identity.