Oil on canvas. H60 x W90 cm
Oil on canvas
130 x 75 cm
In this image I have located a volume of the fictional new yet-to-materialise constitution of a Australian Republic beneath a car tyre swan (the gestator) and resting on a hollow galvanised iron classical column.
The car tyre swan is a popular almost iconic statement found in gardens across rural Australia, usually used as plant containers. It is a tongue-in-cheek symbol of an Australian renaissance; our ability to utilise and recycle past their use by date objects and ideas, a somewhat frivolous and superfluous gesture! The native black swan is the adopted symbol for Western Australia and is associated with the State. It is in this statal context that I propose the swan as the appropriate national gestator.
The galvanised iron column too is loaded with significant symbolism. Australia has imported our culture from Western Europe, but whereas the original columns of Europe are made of durable carved rock and marble, ours is an ersatz version; made of cheap [colonial] materials and are hollow! This column is the Australian rock upon which the foundations of our new republic will rest.
This is one of a series of similar paintings which questions our maturity as a nation.
Oil on canvas H83.5 x W61 cm
Oil on canvas. 91 x 137 cm
To finance my MA studies I drove a taxi cab in Sydney for three years soon after immigrating to Australia. These experiences in my newly adopted country were traumatizing. Coming from a country torn apart by civil strife in the struggle for liberation from the Apartheid yoke, I could hardly believe what people did with their freedom, which was taken for granted. It appeared that they quite literally pissed it up against a wall. People everywhere in Sydney literally lurched after midnight. To date it was the most dangerous occupation I have had. Constantly threatened, ripped off and having to have vomit cleaned from the cab I decided to try and paint my way out of having to drive taxis. The series takes a dark humoured look at Sydney night life. There were occasions which were somewhat amusing, like the instance when a customer asked to be taken to the well known Tiffany’s brothel and along the way he explained to me that he had just had a windfall and upon our arrival, he suggested that I park the cab as he wanted to ‘shout me’ a fuck! On another occasion a couple scrambled into my cab and explained that they had just got married and asked me if I could please decide on a destination for their honeymoon!
The paintings in this series in the main dealt with aspects of libidinous behaviour brought on by intoxication, prostitutes, pimps, aspects of voyeurism and most disturbing was the subcutaneous violence which was never far from the surface. It is of interest to note that over my three year period of driving cabs three days a week, the most violent customers were invariably women! This experience was my major introduction to mainstream Australian culture.
T599 was the registration of one of the cabs I actually drove.
Victor Gordon’s work from the Ifa Lethu collection also showing Diane Victor’s drawing from the permanent collection of the University of South Africa (Unisa). The 20/twenty exhibition was opened by George Bizos as part of the celebration of twenty years of Democracy in South Africa. The exhibition ran from 11 April to 7 May 2014. The Ifa Lethu collection fills important gaps in South Africa’s previously lost artistic heritage.