'Colonial Animal' - Sharon Dawes
'Colonial Animal' is a painted representation of Australia's major and most obvious animal introductions post 1788. Environmental and political issues aside, Dawes seeks to give tha animals prominence in Australia's often neglected chapter of history, that of the animals' assistance in making a sense of place or making Australia home.
Her work gives the animals new life by removing their traditional background and inserting text from a story or nursery rhyme relating to the animal from its country of origin. The 'Burke and Wills' diptych for example re-tells the story of the early and untimely death of Harry, Australia's first camel which arrived in the countri in 1839. Other paintings in the 'Colonial Animal' exhibition are inspired by the fairy tales 'The Ugly Duckling' and ;The Golden Goose' and the children's story series 'The Wind in the Willows' , 'The Tales of Olga Da Polga' and the Beatrix Potter series. The '1700s Wallpaper Series' feature portraits of animals imported into colonial Australia in the 1700s juxtaposed aginst a background depicting a floral wallpaper prevalent in colonial Australian society at this time.
- Sharon Dawes
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