Playing for Keeps, 2016

75 x 106 cm
edition of 30
$2,000, unframed
$2,800, framed

In Playing for Keeps Hanks appropriates Francis Hayman’s 1743 painting Cricket on the Artillery Ground to give us another atemporal cultural critique – a high stakes game of cricket between an Aboriginal and a white colonial team. The winner’s prize is Australia. Johnny Cuzens, a member of the 1868 Aboriginal XI and dressed accordingly, bowls a bodyline at Captain Cook; with a recent racial abuse controversy still fresh, wicket keeper Adam Goodes concentrates intensely, as if he alone realises what’s really at stake; an aloof Joseph Banks sits on the sidelines keeping score; other members of the first Aboriginal XI participate too; and on the periphery, generations of activist women, black and white – Nova Peris and Truganini; and feminists Mary Wollstonecraft and Germaine Greer – circulate, impatiently jostling for a go.

Elin Howe, 2016