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Sugar (candy boxes), Sugar (party plates), X/I


MacDonald, AL, Sugar (candy boxes), Sugar (party plates), X/I, Artereal Gallery, Artereal Gallery, Sydney, 1 (2016) [Published Creative Work]

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For over three decades MacDonald has traversed the vanitas still life genre, with the aim of extending historical approaches by exploring the symbolic potential of objects within a contemporary cultural context. The photographic still life builds on the long history of vanitas imagery in art, and also brings with it the additional association of the photograph as memento mori. Photography has a unique connection with still life and death, due to its ability to arrest time and literally still life. Photographs also contain a realisation of loss by recording a past moment that no longer exists. They are a melancholic reminder of time’s inexorable passing. MacDonald draws on these associations to create elegiac metaphors for the ephemerality and mutability of existence. Children’s birthday parties focus heavily on sugar-laden treats. This led to MacDonald’s current project Sugar, in which she continues her exploration of childhood, consumption and mortality. Sugar first appeared as a symbol of luxury in 16C desert and confectionary still life paintings. No longer a luxury, sugar is ubiquitous in food and has been found to be addictive, with the toxic effects of high sugar consumption recently gaining wide media attention. It is an irony that we celebrate each birthday with sugary cakes and sweets that potentially hasten life's passing. Sugar highlights the excessive amount of sugar in children's diets today, which despite its adverse health effects, is still promoted as a reward or celebratory treat.

Item Details

Item Type:Published Creative Work
Keywords:contemporary art, photo media, still life, consumption, childhood
Research Division:Creative Arts and Writing
Research Group:Visual arts
Research Field:Fine arts
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Arts
Objective Field:The creative arts
UTAS Author:MacDonald, AL (Ms Anne MacDonald)
ID Code:112627
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:Office of the School of Creative Arts and Media
Deposited On:2016-11-18
Last Modified:2018-01-31
Downloads:9 View Download Statistics

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