The End of the Age of Entitlement (print), 2014
An inkjet print on archival paper digitally reiterating a gelatin silver film image.
These are shadows cast by flash on photographic film without a camera. They record the struggle and flutter of live small cabbage white butterflies Pieris rapae caught in a sudden downpour of rain at night near Lake Tyrrell in the Victorian Mallee. The image, here digitally enlarged, starkly reveals a moment of suffering in the umwelt or ‘life-world’ of creatures we habitually ignore. Yet, this butterfly is an introduced species whose presence typifies the growing ecological hybridity of Australia’s remaining indigenous semi-arid landscapes. Portraying small lives indirectly and intimately highlights their delicate pathos whilst symbolizing the vulnerability of that larger life-world, the Mallee ecosystems, of which they have become a part. The artwork is part of Gathering Shadows, a project deploying the triple metaphors of physical touch, cast shadows and invertebrate abjection in order to poetically enunciate the ecological tragedy confronting particular environments – in this instance – Mallee country. This piece won the ‘2016 SCOPE Galleries Art Award for Art Concerning Environment’.
The End of the Age of Entitlement reiterates one film from the affiliated series using the same name.