Rodney Pople

Early morning north west Tasmania, 2018

oil and archival ink on linen

120 x 80 CM

From the artist

"This painting is based on an early morning view captured by the artist near Marrawah in north west Tasmania.

Southern Elephant Seals have lived around in southern regions of the world for thousands of years. Though hunted to the brink of extinction a century ago, populations have since recovered and the seals are no longer considered endangered.

In this painting, the Southern Elephant Seal reasserts its presence by parking itself centre stage before a herd of cattle, a comparatively recently introduced species to the Tasmanian landscape.

Elephant seals do appear occasionally in Tasmania, so the image does not represent an entirely impossible scenario. The painting continues, however, the artist’s interest in creating unexpected juxtapositions of forms and characters to comment on ideas around colonisation, contested histories and the primacy of the natural over the human world."

Artist background

Born Launceston 1952. Lives and works in Sydney. Exhibiting since the 1970s. Winner of Paddington Art Prize 2016 and Sulman 2008. Has been selected for the Blake, Archibald, and Wynne art prizes on many occasions. FInalist in Doug Moran National Portrait Prize 2016. Represented in many major public collections.

Represented by Despard Gallery, Hobart & Australian Galleries, Sydney/Melbourne