Stewart Russell: Peter, Tommie & John / reliving the dream

Stewart Russell: Peter, Tommie & John / reliving the dream

From 24 June 2024

Melbourne-based artist Stewart Russell’s large-scale textile installation Peter, Tommie & John / reliving the dream explores one of the most influential political actions of the 20th century through the eyes of Australian Olympic silver medalist Peter Norman.

Expanding on an earlier project created by Russell in collaboration with late artist Kate Daw, Peter, Tommie & John / reliving the dream tells the story of the podium-top act of protest against racism instigated by African American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos, together with Australian athlete Peter Norman, at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico.

Featuring images and transcriptions drawn from interviews conducted with Peter prior to his death in 2006, these new works focus on the triumph of the athletes’ personal friendship, which endured in spite of their protest’s continued political repercussions.

About the Artist

Stewart Russell (b. 1965, Scotland) employs a range of media to examine narrative of cultural inheritance, collective identity, nationalism, and social justice.

Formerly working as director of London Printworks, Russell established Melbourne-based studio Spacecraft in 2000, where he works individually and collaboratively with artists, architects, and fashion designers to produce artworks which can be found in public spaces, galleries, and collections across the world.

Stewart Russell in the studio. Photo: Emma Byrnes, courtesy of the artist.

Featured image: Stewart Russell, Peter, Tommie & John / reliving the dream (detail), 2024. © the artist, photo by Shepparton Art Museum.