I heard of Scope galleries in Warrnambool, Victoria, through a good friend who has undertaken an artist residency in that part of Australia. She recently informed me that they had an art prize with a theme that fitted my work – “art concerning the environment” – so I went ahead and entered! The work I have entered, “Deering Defense”, pictured below, is one of a recent series of works in which anthropomorphized animals are depicted in fight or flight mode – sentient beings responding to humanity’s encroachment on their land, their habitat and their lives. This narrative image depicts a deer-figure whom, when confronted with a bulldozer, defiantly holds up a flag emblazoned with the image of a leafy tree. In contrast, the backdrop, features the patterned motif of a sad, willowy, lifeless looking tree. Whilst this image reminds us that it is biodiversity – flora and fauna – that is increasingly bulldozed by the demands of humanities escalating population, the narrative is ironic. The irony is that sadly, animals cannot defend themselves or their habitats against the destruction of humans and their machines. If only they could!
The exhibition aims to raise awareness of environmental issues and will run from June 8th to July 20th.
Claude Jones, Deering defense, 2014, mixed media on paper, 103 x 115 cm