Imagine if they’d cared

I usually make works about the ongoing legacy of Australian colonisation using early colonial paintings usually by Glover or Lycett which I tamper with. I like to shift the narrative, in this work I re- imagine Joseph Lycetts ‘distant view of Hobart town’, I took out the men with guns, the houses and the boats & add to it digitally and change the writing beneath to say ‘Land of the broken-hearted’ suggesting a land both touched and untouched by colonisation.
I love that we don’t know for sure if Lycett ever visited Van Diemans Land and yet there are a multitude of works by him of Tasmania, I get excited to be re contextualising an image of his that may not even have been painted in Hobart.
I like that Lycett was a forger and so we cannot be sure what is the truth in his work.
And by playing with these originals works, we can also manipulate the truth as history has.
And I am able I put forward for consideration the colonisers having a different viewpoint, changing the narrative with hope for the future. They hold a dying moth with such concern
Imagine if they’d cared..

Joan Ross


Oil paint on clear plastic background