MONSTER MASH 2013 / Little Gallery, Devonport Regional Gallery (Tasmania)

ARTIST STATEMENT

Monster Mash is an exhibition that explores the relationship between Australia’s convict heritage and the performance of contemporary Australian masculinity. By overlapping Australia’s convict past with its gendered present, I depict the contradictions, conflicts and desires that operate around questions of history, memory and identity. The work in Monster Mash ties these questions of national identity to contemporary Australian masculinity and the historical narratives of montrous deviancy that defined convict masculinity.

In my work the monstrous performativity of contemporary Australian masculinity addresses both the productive as well as the destructive possibilities associated with this deviant or failed model. Imagined this way, the convict form is not just a Gothic spectre trapped within our gendered colonial past. Rather he resides very much in the here and now, inhabiting the internal landscape of the masculine imagination. Taking its cue from the song Monster Mash, this exhibition utilises a humourous, comic tone to unpack the intersection bewteen the vernacular and the poltical.