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“Is it fair?” – Animal Fanfair essay


Claude Jones, Monkey tricks, 2011, mixed media on canvas, 138.5 x 128.5 cm


The touring exhibition “AnimalFanfair”, which features the work of 10 Australian artists, is currently on display at Lapunyah Art Gallery in Queensland, Australia.  The exhibition examines our problematic treatment of animals and the environment,  raising questions about justice, ethics, sustainability, and human accountability.  The artists are Katka Adams, Marian Drew, Hayden Fowler, Kelly Hussey-Smith, Owen Hutchison, Claude Jones (myself), Sam Leach, Emma Lindsay, Rod McRae and Walter Stahl . The tour is almost half way through with 3 more galleries to go. Here’s the gallery lineup:

Caloundra Regional Gallery, QLD: 13 April – 22 May 2016

Artspace Mackay, QLD: 1 July – 21 August 2016

Moranbah Coalface Art Gallery , QLD: 2 September – 29 September 2016

Lapunyah Art Gallery, QLD: 22 October – 30 November 2016

Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery, QLD: 7 December 2016 – 29 January 2017

Noosa Regional Gallery, QLD: 1 March – 23 April 2017

To assist in the promotion of the tour, the curator, Karen Tyler, asked me to write an essay about the exhibition to be included as part of an accompanying in-house educational package. The essay was commissioned by the Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC) and was funded by Museums & Galleries Queensland.

I was really thrilled to be asked to write this essay although I will admit it was a bit daunting at first. Once I had finally decided on the outline and structure, I then got on a roll! I really think I was channeling my art history writing days from way back when I studied the latter at Auckland University. ( Yes you don’t see Auckland University on my CV as I never completed my BA – sadly abandoning my studies shortly before my final 3rd year exams. It’s a long story but, for the record, I majored in English literature and Art History)

Anyhow, it only recently occurred to me that this essay might be put forward to an arts magazine so that it can be made available to a wider readership. This would aid in the promotion of the exhibition and its important thematic concerns. I am just waiting for the ok on this and then will approach suitable arts publications or perhaps animal ethics/rights publications.

My apologies that I cannot share the essay here as publications want previously unpublished works but will be sure to send a link once it finds a home.

In the meantime please check out “Animal Fanfair” if you are in the Lapunyah area as it is a wonderful, thought-provoking and at times confrontational exhibition that I am sure will stimulate interesting and important conversations about animal-human relationships.

And! My own solo exhibition “Bully” is coming up next month at Artereal gallery in Sydney. Inspired by my vegan ethics and concern for the plight of animals – both human and otherwise – this will also stimulate interesting and important conversations – I hope!

Opening night  for “Bully” December 7th

Exhibition runs from December 7th – 22nd.

More details to come…

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