Lazarus taxon – from flesh and bone
This exhibition proposal brings together themes central to my artwork related to animal forms.
Animal themes are utilised in my artwork, questioning and challenging my connection with my European heritage. As I teenager, I first travelled to Italy to meet relatives. I encountered sitting rooms curiously decorated with antelope horns. I am fascinated by the practice of “trophy hunting,” and our desire to preserve the memory of creatures through art, science and biology. This has culminated in a series of drawings and paintings made from taxidermy wild game – referencing issues related to the hunted and hunters.
As a recipient of the ISS Italian Services Institute International Fellowship in 2013, I have been able to further research the inclusion of wild, exotic game and other symbolic animals interwoven into the medieval art and craft of Europe. Inspired and enriched by this experience, my artwork continues to reference and celebrate majestical beasts, many of whom have been introduced into the natural Australian environment.
I ponder the effects of human interaction with animals and the distress it causes in nature through environmental issues. There is an ever increasing strain on animals with our escalating demands on natural resources, coupled with our “sometimes questionable” farming methods.
Perhaps our personalities can be defined by the animals we nurture – for work or personal pleasure and enjoyment. This theme enables me to infuse my art with layers of meaning as I experience the pure joy of depicting the human form and our animal counterpart, visually exploring complex emotions, behaviours, interaction and power struggles.