Dr Rhett D’Costa Full Staff Profile

Dr Rhett D’Costa

Dr Rhett D’Costa teaches Painting in both RMIT University, Melbourne and as part of RMIT University’s undergraduate programme in Hong Kong.

In a career spanning more than twenty-five years in art practice and tertiary art education, Rhett’s focus has centred around the Asia-Pacific region.

Born in Bombay, Rhett D’Costa migrated to Australia at an early age. His practice led research draws on his hybrid background of British, Indian and Australian culture and its ongoing relationship to colonial and post colonial theory, extending across drawing, painting and installation processes.

Rhett’s most recent multidisciplinary projects have centred on the ‘right to belong’, exploring the role of resilience and optimism in the intersecting areas of migration, multiculturalism, identity, nationalism and belonging.

His research has focused on ideas connected to culturally composite ethnicities, mixed race communities and the porosity of place, belonging and identity formation.

Belonging and ‘unbelonging’ have extended his interests in identity formation to include queer culture. These interests take into account shifting social and political circumstances and the tensions and consequences of mobility and migration in complex transnational environments.

Rhett’s artistic research examines the agency and role an artist as researcher can have within these often precarious and unstable spaces.