Launch of Children of the Meek

The final Episode of the Making the Empire Cross series, Children of the Meek, will be on show from 8 July to 2 August at MARS Gallery (Melbourne Art Rooms) 418 Bay Street, Port Melbourne.

MARS Gallery

Mother of Millions
Mother of Millions, from Children of the Meek.

Posted on June 8, 2009

Shoot low! They are riding Shetlands - Queensland Centre of Photography

This exhibition will feature one of the most comprehensive showings of Making the Empire Cross to date. The show - which is part of the annual Queensland Festival of Photography - takes a look at photography (other than documentary photography) that deals with contemporary social and political ideas, and challenges our notions of what we have come to believe is reality.

Other artists include Pamela See, Maurice Ortega, Nathan Corum, Jonatah McBurnie, Chris Bennie and Leah Emery.

The show runs from 29 March - 27 April 2008. Further details are available on


Posted on March 26, 2008

Fantasy & Frontiers - Pop Culture at Irony's Edge

Seven images from Making the Empire Cross will feature in Fantasy and Frontiers - Pop Culture at Irony's Edge at the Cairns Regional Gallery.

Since the 1950's artists have been repositioning images of film, television and advertising into the language of art. The artists featured in Fantasy and Frontier, appropriate popular culture imagery to find meanings at irony's edge. This exhibition of contemporary prints and paintings features work by Priscilla Bracks, Kristen Tennyson, Sam Tupou and Frank Gohier.

The exhibition opened on 21 March 2008 and continues until 4 May. More information including gallery opening times and address can be found at

Posted on March 15, 2008

Madonna and Child - NG Art Gallery

Priscilla was recently invited to participate in a show at Sydney's NG Art Gallery, based around the theme of 'Madonna and Child'. Choosing to focus on traditional Madonna and Child images as personal icons to worship, and the notion of Madonna as a model woman and mother, Priscilla made 2 new works which will become part of the Epilogue the the Making the Empire Cross series. One image Madonna in the Wild depicts the Madonna (played of course by the beautiful Cherry Wang) sitting in a garden of exotic plants and common weeds (including the succulent Mother of Millions) - a meditation on the notion that God's love is for all - even those who are marginalised. The other image Arizona Madonna is a contemporary adaptation that ponders the question: What would it be like if Jesus were born today?

Madonna and Child runs from 11 March - 5 April 2008. More information can be obtained from


Posted on March 8, 2008

Blake Prize. Artist Statement.

Bearded Orientals: Making the Empire Cross

This work is concerned with relationships between contemporary popular culture, and the futures we (for better or for worse) create. It is not intended as a statement but rather as a means to ask questions. In particular, I’m questioning the relationships between media, popular culture, and the development of truth, history and ideology.

When you observe these two people, Osama Bin Ladin and Jesus, their ethics could not be more different. The only comparison that can be made is historical: both pursued by two of the world’s most powerful armies – the US and the Roman armies. Jesus is clearly defined by history, but I am interested in how history will treat the image of Osama.

There is a very real possibility that by giving such significant media attention to those who commit crimes and advocate violence, we may inadvertently elevate of them to a status where in some circles, they are perceived as sacred and holy – revered in the same way we revere Jesus.

This work has quite an open text so people are likely to read the image in many different ways. Some have mentioned they see it as a juxtaposition of good and evil, whilst others are interested in its comment on how iconic figures are created.

To me this work is a cautionary tale about our fixation with crime, violence and catastrophe. Access to information is important and there are instances where this has been well balanced with the temptation to sensationalise. No war was declared against the Lockerby bombers. Instead they were extradited and tried for murder amidst media coverage that left few people with a lingering memory of their names. Similarly, Martin Bryant was moved to an inner cell in his Tasmanian prison to ensure his media attention did not turn him into a cult figure like Charles Manson. There is a wisdom in this approach that has been forgotten in the case of Bin Laden, and this lapse may have unintended, unwelcome effects in the future.

Bearded Orientals: Making the Empire Cross comes from a larger body of work named after the image, called Making the Empire Cross. Each image in the series further considers the relationship between what we read, see and hear in our media, and what we believe or perceive as ‘truth’. The series covers a range of issues from misleading statements about weapons of mass destruction, through to our cultural fascination with violence (for example some works raise the question of whether a tour to a war zone the next extreme adventure holiday trend. Strangely when researching that part of the work I did find one person offering such tours.)

Given the work’s focus, the recent media coverage of it is ironic.

The first tabloid to comment on Bearded Orientals: Making the Empire Cross and its entry into the Blake Prize ran with the headline Christianity is Mocked Again. It then proceeded to present the editor’s personal readings of the artwork as if they were fact not opinion, and impliedly suggested that this is also what the artist truly intended. This opinion soon became fact, and I began to receive emails from concerned people asking how could I do this? Don’t I have any feelings for people who have lost family in terrorist attacks? Why do I criticise a religion that has done nothing to me? My response is to direct these questions to the Daily Telegraph of Sydney for it is they not I who have suggested that Christ and Osama are spiritual equals.

So many of us feel that there is something wrong with waging war in Iraq and the culture of fear, hate and suspicion bred by the ‘War on Terror’, yet few speak out for fear they will be the first to say the emperor wears no clothes. Exhibitions of the work in Brisbane & Melbourne (Australia) and St Tropez (France) have given audiences the opportunity to think about these things and I heard many peoples’ views on what the work means to them, but on no occasion has anyone felt the work compared the spiritual value of the two figures. I can only attribute the difference in readings to the provocative opinions expressed in the Daily Telegraph, which were repeated without question by many news services that subsequently reported on the issue.

The work was entered into the Blake Prize because that prize seeks to encourage debate on spirituality. Recent geo-political events such as the ‘War on Terror’, the war in Iraq and the on-going Israeli/Palistinian conflict, give me cause for concern that spirituality is being confused with other more pragmatic concerns of human existence. If we read the religious texts carefully it is clear that God is on no-one’s side if they advocate violence and choose war over peace.

The elevation of Osama Bin Laden to hero and/or anti-hero in the Christian and Muslim world represents a troubling take on spirituality, and despite what some in the media have said about my image, his status existed before I made the work and was caused not by me but by sensationalist reporting.

The artwork has been effective in generating some debate, but given that the media can set the agenda of the debate, it is not surprising it has not probed more deeply into their role in escalation of violence in our society. But whilst I have no control over the media, I do sincerely wish to apologise for any discomfort my part in this event has caused to people who saw this image in the context of those terrible opinions.

Priscilla Bracks

August 2007.

Posted on August 29, 2007

Sunshine Coast Art Prize

Battle for the High Ground, a work from Episode 2 of Making the Empire Cross, was among 40 works selected from over 900 entries for the Sunshine Coast Art Prize.

The Exhibition is at the Caloundra Regional Art Gallery (22 Ohrah Avenue Caloundra) and runs from 15 August to 14 October 2007.

Sunshine Coast Art Prize 1

Sunshine Coast Art Prize 2

Posted on August 15, 2007

Episode 2 opens at Kings ARI.

Making the Empire Cross Episode 2 Baghdad Barbie in the Cradle of Civilisation, opened at Kings Artist Run Initiative in Gallery 1 on February 16. The exhibition runs until March 10.

- View images of the exhibition


Priscilla with Liam Benson in front of Battle for the High Ground and Barbie-rella, at the opening of the exhibition at King ARI. Liam Benso, Victoria Lawson, Sari Kivinen, Naomi Oliver opened their show Dream Merchant in Gallery 2 on the same evening.

Posted on February 16, 2007

Episode 2: Baghdad Barbie in the Cradle of Civilisation

Making the Empire Cross continues in Episode 2 Baghdad Barbie in the Cradle of Civilisation.

A preview of Kings Artist Run Initiative, King Street Melbourne in early 2007. Stay tuned for more details.

Battle for the High Ground from Episode 2.

Posted on December 14, 2006


kartma and shiva

Shiva's Nemisis is appearing in the K(Art)ma exhibition in Lille France.

The exhibition is at Lasécu, 26, Rue Bourjembois, Lille France, from the 14th of October 2006 through to the 13th of January 2007.

K(Art)ma is part of Lille3000.

lille 3000

Posted on September 11, 2006

Making the Empire Cross on the French Riviera

Selected works from the first episode of Making the Empire Cross will be shown in exhibition Raw Space in Saint-Tropez, which is part of the Antipodes Festival in St Tropez.

Exhibition Details:
9 - 15 of October 2006
Galerie Lavoir Vasserot
rue Quaranta, Saint-Tropez


Posted on September 10, 2006

Famous Exhibition

An official exhibition of portraits, paparazzi photographs, and memorabilia of the stars from the Making the Empire Cross series by Priscilla Bracks.

Opens: 6pm, Friday 4 August
Exhibition continues till 20 August


Premier Princess Chromogenic Print 2006

Posted on July 27, 2006

Episode Two to Premier at Kings ARI

Stay Tuned. Making the Empire Cross Episode 2 will premiere at Kings Artist Run Initiative, King Street Melbourne in early 2007. Stay tuned for more details.

Posted on April 24, 2006

Making the Empire Cross showing in Melbourne

Making the Empire Cross opens at Intrude Contemporary Art Gallery in Melbourne on the 22rd of March and will be on display through to the 5th of April.

22 March 2006 – 5 April 2006

Intrude Contemporary Art
122 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia

Download the exhibition catalogue in .pdf format (4.2Mb)

Posted on March 19, 2006

Machine Magazine Launch

The 4th edition of contemporary art magazine, Machine will be launched at Raw Space Galleries on Friday 24 February, 2006 - during the exhibition of Making The Empire Cross.

The 4th edition also contains a review of Making the Empire Cross by Nicholas Thompson.

Posted on February 23, 2006


Making the Empire Cross officially opened on Friday night the 17th at Raw Space Galleries in Brisbane.

Ryan Hunter-Davies, one of the stars of the show, accompanied Priscilla Bracks to the opening. Here Ryan is seen with Cil, and Sharky Bubba from the Monster Zoku Onsomb!

Posted on February 18, 2006

Upcoming show in Melbourne

Making the Empire Cross opens at Intrude Contemporary Art Gallery in Melbourne on the 22rd of March and will be on display through to the 5th of April.

22 March 2006 – 5 April 2006

Intrude Contemporary Art
122 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia

Posted on February 13, 2006

Making the Empire Cross at Raw Space Galleries Brisbane

Making the Empire Cross: Episode 1 Unleashed! Opens at Raw Space Galleries in Brisbane on the 17th of February 2006.

Friday 17 February 6.00 - Late

14 February - 10 March 2006

Raw Space Galleries
99 Melbourne Street
South Brisbane Q
[Opposite the Convention Centre & Terminus Hotel]

For more information:

OPEN: Wednesday - Friday 5.00pm - 10.00pm

Posted on February 10, 2006

Web site launched

The Making the Empire Cross web site is officially launched prior to the opening party of the first exhibition in Brisbane at Raw Space Galleries Friday 17.

The site features photos from behind the scenes taken during the making of Making the Empire Cross, information about the cast, and a glimpse of the images that make up Episode 1: Unleashed!

A series of small collectable lenticular images from Episode 1: Unleashed! can also be purchased from the website.

Stay tuned to the News and Gossip section for details on upcoming shows, all the gossip of what the cast get up to off set, and details on Episode 2.

Posted on February 5, 2006