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Purblind (Opiate)

Neil Haddon
High gloss enamel on aluminium • 160 × 150 cm

The word ‘purblind’ describes the effect on the eyes when walking into a darkened room from a bright exterior. The momentary loss of vision fades as the eyes become accustomed to the difference in light. It is in this transitory space the work is situated, when the details of half lit shapes are literally glossed over or conversely, almost entirely erased. I think of John Glover, coming here, seeing what he saw and painting what he saw, sending those images back to England. Well received bucolic scenes, sublime maybe, exotic certainly, beautiful we would now say. On my travels around the north of Tasmania I see the production of fifty per cent of the world’s pharmaceutical opiates. I think of pain and dark times. I think of Tasmania’s current exotic status, as an analgesic island, exporting its poppy straw panacea.