Images of tents and caravans were frequently in the news at the beginning of 2018 when my daughter and I moved back to Hobart. We lived with my parents for a year, unable to find a rental we could afford. It was easy to see why more and more people were forced into solutions like setting up a temporary home at the Showgrounds – an option that will cease within the coming months.
This painting is a reflection on a broken housing market, and a rental market that prevents many from entering it.
The central piece of this work is framed either end with horizontal bands that reference two works by John Glover – ‘Mount Wellington with rainbow’ from sketchbook 43, and weeds from the bottom of ‘Cattle, the last Gleam of the Setting Sun’. I remember seeing prize cows at the Showgrounds as a kid; since returning home kids have been growing up there in tents and caravans.

Permission was sought and granted to use Nikki Davis-Jones’ photograph of a working family’s campsite at the Showgrounds as the central source image for this painting.

Joanna Chew

2023, Glover Prize Winner

Oil on linen