Black Gold

2013

oil, canvas, pine, rabbit skin size, native grass
300H x 300H x 50mmD +/-

Series: Grass Work

Ringed with black oil, this native grass and timber artwork depicts the quintessential Australian landscape - the wooded grassland shaped by early Aborigines’ systematic use of fire in their colonisation of the Continent. It refers to settler occupation, pastoral roots, and a resource rich territory with newly discovered oil reserves adding to the asset list. Where the phrase 'black gold' can relate to territorial and economic assets, specific resources (oil/coal/diamonds/truffles/coffee), fair trade, and to racial tensions, politics, wealth and power, the title also refers to the artwork's formal abstract content. Within the deep black oil canvas, in tiny lettering, the word 'ART' tracks around the four sides of a golden pine frame. As the interior growth expands beyond the frame, the refrain of ‘art follows commerce’ comes into play; cultural capital at risk of being subsumed by prolific growth. In dry seasons, the verdant sward turns gold, making Black Gold a nugget with a wealth of new metaphors.