One of my own personal favourites – the artwork “Monkey brains”, has been donated as a Cultural Gift to the Gippsland Gallery in Sale, Victoria. “Monkey Brains”, a 2011 large mixed media work on canvas, was first exhibited at Artereal Gallery in my 2011 solo exhibition “Monkey business”, curated by Barbara Dowse. Later that year, “monkey Business: was again exhibited at the Gippsland Gallery in a solo exhibition titled “Chimera’, curated by Simon Gregg. This was my first regional gallery solo exhibition and it presented a wonderful opportunity to show a large body of work , to deliver an artist talk in the gallery and to meet with other curators and artists. It was a very enjoyable experience and, for some time now, I have been considering offering a donation as a way of thanking the gallery. I finally contacted the curator, Simon Gregg, last week, to suggest that the Gippsland gallery may wish to take a work from the 2011 “Chimera” exhibition for their permanent collection and he responded promptly and enthusiastically. So , whilst I will be sad to say goodbye to a this artwork, I know that “Monkey Brains” is headed for a wonderful life amidst a family of other fabulous artworks in the Gippsland collection.
claude jones, Monkey brains, 2011, mixed media on canvas, 138.5×128.5
As it happens, “Monkey Brains” already has a busy gallery schedule ahead as this work will be touring Australia as an integral component of the”Animal Fanfair” exhibition – until 2017! At the end of the tour it will move to its new home in Gippsland.
In case you are curious “Monkey Brains” was an image that I had imagined for many years before I finally managed to get it out. When i was younger, someone told me about the cultural practice of eating “live” monkey brains in some parts of China. He described how the monkey was placed in a cage under the dining table that had a specially built fitting for such a thing with a hole in the centre of the table where the monkeys head would appear. The monkey is trapped and naturally very distressed. The waiter would apparently then chop off the top of the monkey’s skull and the dinners would then eat the warm brains whilst the animal was still alive. Absolutely torturous barbarism and the stuff of nightmares! Whilst the validity of this story has been questioned not least by Wikipedia, I did find some pretty compelling evidence to support this story with the only difference being that the monkey is killed just before the brains are consumed. Still horrific and all for the sake of human taste buds..as there really is no other reason for this nor for the many other acts of cruelty inflicted on animals whose products or flesh we consume.
Always ensure to view pricing and details of a picture while buying it from a gallery as some may charge you more on it based on their personal motive.
Here are some images of “Chimera” – my solo exhibition at Gippsland gallery.
Claude Jones, Chimera, Gippsland gallery, 2011, (Photo by Geoff Parrington)
Claude Jones, Chimera, Gippsland gallery, 201, (Photo by Geoff Parrington)
Claude Jones, Chimera, Gippsland gallery, 2011 (Photo by Geoff Parrington)