Sharon West

Taking inspiration from the art salons of the Victorian period, these two installations present a reimagining of a colonial art salon featuring Australian themed art works. Ranging from historical subject matter with skewed and in an absurdist takes on exploration, colonisation. and culture. Heidelberg School painters are placed in unexpected situations and Indigenous figures mix with crypto creatures. Decorative arts are also a focus with humorous re-workings of specimen domes, including a blue bunyip and giant spider, as well as a large silver gilded emu egg.
The notion of the transplantation of European culture onto the Australian landscape is an underlying theme and so is the clash of two foreign cultures, represented by the Kangarooster knocking over the bust of Queen Victoria. The medium of gold and silver gilding symbolises the excesses of gold rush era
Melbourne., in which the newly rich filled their mansions with artworks and object d’art in an ostentatious emulation of the landed gentry houses of Britain.

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