Black Gold


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

Series: Grass Work

Inside a timber frame with an oil-blackened edge, the abstract grass work suggests a quintessential Australian landscape - the wooded grassland shaped by early Aborigines’ systematic use of fire to regenerate growth across their lands. The condensed size of the field draws close attention to these pastoral roots, with the artworks title and fertility suggesting a wider resource rich territory hidden within the land, as newly discovered oil reserves are added to the asset list.

The phrase 'black gold' relates to territorial and economic assets, specific resources (oil/coal/diamonds/truffles/coffee), fair trade, racial tensions, wealth and power. The artwork includes art on that list.  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.