Object Bound Curses

Object Bound Curses
Artereal Gallery Sydney 2020

Photo, collage, fabric, objects

Pretending for a moment that cursing is a thing, that power is misused.

Above: The Curse of the Gift Giver (Rooster)

velvet, digital print on fabric, feathers, bells, coral, netting. Each aprox 53x 88 cm

Calling upon audiences to enter an imaginary realm in which the power of magic can be harnessed to curse away the current plague of environmental threats which loom over our contemporary existence, Penelope Cain presents a mysterious series of banners and collages which draw on a sense of the wondrous in the face of the bleak.

R: The Curse of Sipping From the Ideological Cup (Peacock)

giclee photo and collage on rag 54 x 74cm

Instruments of decoration such as ostrich and peacock feathers, velvet fabric, coral jewellery, tassels and braiding to collage against images of power; hands, shoulders, crossed arms in well-tailored business suits.

Tapping the look and feel of 17th Century Dutch portrait paintings, with their lexicon of colonial wealth, hierarchies and domestication of people, plants and things.

Taking as a starting point the hands of the then Treasurer, Scott Morrison, when he touted a lump of coal in Australian Parliament, 2017

 

R: Installation view, Artereal Gallery

Notes:

Cursing at an industrial level has been attempted previously. In the 1960s, in Japan, in response to environmental poisoning from industrial contamination (leading to extensive human and animal disease), a small group of Buddhist monks formed a protest group. They picketed factory entities found to be contaminating land, forming a procession, then drummed and chanted Abhichara rites, with the aim of cursing the factory owners to death.

(Koichiro Osaka, Curse Mantra, Parasite Art Centre, HK, 2018)

 

R: The Curse of the Disbeliever (Ostrich) 2020

giclee photo and collage on rag 54 x 74cm