gold china mosaic with taxidermy on engraved granite base and pedestal
174 x 31 x 50 cm
Michael Reid, Sydney
Private Collection, Sydney
Amongst the last body of ceramics, the artist has undertaken, Promises promises, 2010 was a private commission for significant Sydney collectors.
The title of this sculptural artwork playfully references the artist’s review of Australian history, a history defined by inducements, enticements and promises to Indigenous people, that all would be good.
The joey’s breastplate imitates the type of breastplate given by Colonial Officers to the Indigenous ‘chiefs’ as recognition of their sovereignty. A position mocked as it was hollow to the very people such honours were bestowed on.
The gold china construction of the joey, references the artist’s early and ongoing interest in the transfer of images, via dinnerware across the world. The irony in this sculpture being that the native joey is constructed of fine European porcelain. Images of kangaroos were regularly depicted on European porcelain and here we have a joey constructed out of the material itself.