Oh history, you lied to me, 2017
mixed media painting on paper
95 x 122 cm
WINNER – Sir John Sulman Prize 2017, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
This work continues my interrogation of colonial collecting and of Australian colonisation. I imagine History is an unfaithful lover, in his own bubble with his lies, seduction and manipulation, only seeing from his position. Recreating the Leverian Museum, a catacomb of curiosities including those from Captain Cook’s voyages, and using my signature Hi Vis as a metaphor for colonisation, I am critical of the collecting mentality as an ongoing disease fuelled by superiority and greed.
Recontexualising Thomas Gainsborough’s Mr Andrews (from his painting Mr and Mrs Andrews) as the arrogant ‘butterfly murderer’, I render him unconcerned for the damage his infinite collecting causes.
Joan Ross, 2017Enquire Sydney