INVOCATION TO BE VISITED BY A CROCODILE



Invocation to be visited by a crocodile (2022) was commissioned by La Trobe Art Institute for ‘Personal mythologies’, curated by Sophia Cai.

“...the works of Tiyan Baker and Jenna Lee show us that cultural storytelling contains multitudes of experiences; it is neither singular nor static. Baker’s sculptures and prints follow her ongoing research into the significance of crocodiles in ancestral storytelling in Southeast Asia. For Personal mythologies, Baker has created a family of three textile crocodile effigies embellished with beads and text, which also feature in a series of black and white photographic portraits with the artist, captured using a night-vision hunting camera. The colonial view of crocodiles as a predatory threat is implied through the use of this camera technology, creating a sense of unease and distance between the viewer and the subject. For Baker, the crocodile occupies an imaginative space of both cultural and personal significance, offering her a way to connect to her Bidayǔh heritage as well as her hometown of Darwin.” - written by Sophia Cai for the ‘Personal mythologies’ exhibition essay.

🐊 One time my mum told me that a as child she and her friends used to swim with crocodiles in the local swamps
🐊 Many Dayak peoples have a pact of mutual protection and indebtedness with crocodiles. Crocodiles feature heavily in Dayak art and storytelling
🐊 Colonists in Sarawak hated the crocodiles, believing they have a taste for white man's blood. In the early years they hunted crocodiles to near extinction, sending their skulls back to museums in Europe
🐊 This year I have started having recurring nightmares about be hunted by crocodiles

Artwork details:
thread, fabric, beads, pearl, hair, teeth and other mixed media
pigment prints on photo paper




Invocation to be visited by a crocodile, 2022, installation view, La Trobe Art Institute, VIC. Photo by Leon Schoots.



Invocation to be visited by a crocodile, 2022, installation view, La Trobe Art Institute, VIC. Photo by Leon Schoots.



Invocation to be visited by a crocodile, 2022, installation view, La Trobe Art Institute, VIC. Photo by Leon Schoots.



Invocation to be visited by a crocodile, 2022, installation view, La Trobe Art Institute, VIC. Photo by Leon Schoots.



Invocation to be visited by a crocodile, 2022, photo courtesy of the artist.



Invocation to be visited by a crocodile, 2022, photo courtesy of the artist.



Invocation to be visited by a crocodile, 2022, photo courtesy of the artist.

Invocation to be visited by a crocodile, 2022, photo courtesy of the artist.





I live and work on the lands of the Gadigal and Wangal people of the Eora nation.
This sovereign land was never ceded.
The land I live on always was and always will be Aboriginal land.