Prominent Indigenous artist Christian Thompson has defended performance artist Marina Abramovic after an excerpt from her forthcoming memoir emerged that described Aboriginal Australians as looking like “dinosaurs”.
The passage from the book, which Ms Abramovic later said was from an “early, uncorrected proof”, was widely panned on social media for its crude description of Aboriginal people.
Mr Thompson, a Bidjara contemporary artist now based in London, posted on Facebook saying the Yugoslav artist had been a “mentor” to him and was “hugely supportive of Aboriginal culture”.
“It was a poor command of language not a racially motivated attack as it has been represented and does not reflect the person I know or the opinions she holds today,” Mr Thompson’s post continued.
“I have only ever heard Marina express a great warmth and a deep respect for our culture and people.”
Mr Thompson is the inaugural winner of the Charlie Perkins scholarship and was the first Aboriginal Australian to attend Oxford University in its 900-year history.
Penguin Books, which will publish the memoir in November, declined NITV News’ request for comment.