Colony – 2014

Skills: Painting


Colony is a sequel to Holiday Attractions.

In Holiday Attractions the idea was to turn mass-produced holiday memories back into single unique works of art, and in doing so be very deliberate in making the process of the transformation visible in the finished painting. By removing the figures from their original context and isolating them on a blank blue background, viewers are encouraged to make up their own narrative around the images.

All of these ideas inform Colony, but I’m being a little bit more deliberate in combining figures, wildlife and scenery to produce more obvious scenarios.

All the vintage postcards that I take figures from present a very specific view of Australia. They are geared towards people like me – white, comfortable, middle class. In the context of postcards and associated souvenir imagery, everything becomes a vehicle of relaxation for the audience – landscape, flora, fauna, people. Any significance they had outside of the souvenir imagery is supplanted through their transformation into points of interest on the traveller’s journey.

In Colony I seek to help these things reassert themselves a little. Trained wildlife becomes interested in the pale exposed flesh of holidaymakers. Figures taken from relaxing scenes on islands and fun parks sit a little more awkwardly in the landscape. Lookouts and cliffs overhang featureless space, confining sightseers, leaving them vulnerable to imagined dangers from within or without.

All works are oil and graphite on board.

Photo Credit: silversalt photography