Shannon Field

A cannibal's lament: Alexander Pearce's misadventures travelling across Van Diemen's Land, 2014

oil & enamel on canvas

75 x 105

From the artist

My work looks at the relationship between convict history, landscape and contemporary masculinity. The exchange between environment, narrative and masculinity opens up a space that permits our Gothic/melancholic heritage to traverse from the past to the present, thereby continuing to inform the performance of contemporary Australian masculinity. Stumbling around in the bush the pair of convict escapees appear lost, fighting not only for survival but also for their masculinity. Arms raised like zombies, these cannibal convict convey a comic but violent masculinity that farcically tries to assert a phallic authority over the Tasmanian bush which they clearly lack.

Artist background

Born Sydney 1970. Exhibiting since mid-2000s including solo shows at Devonport Regional Gallery 2013; Ray Hughes, Sydney 2007 & 2008 and group shows in South Korea 2011; Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, NSW 2007; & Perth Institute of Contemporay Art WA 2007. Work held in Artbank collection.