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Cloth (red velvet), Party no.2


MacDonald, AL, Cloth (red velvet), Party no.2, Monash Gallery of Art, Monash, VIC, Australia, pp. 2 (2015) [Acquisition]

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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. MacDonald investigated children’s birthday parties as symbols of loss and impermanence in Party 2013. Children's parties are important social rituals, and on the surface of things, joyous and festive celebrations of life. However, on another level, they are elegiac indicators of time’s inexorable passing. In Party, MacDonald chose to focus on the aftermath of the child’s birthday banquet, where the tumultuous chaos and exuberance of the day is replaced by the dull realisation that another passing birthday is over and yet another year of childhood gone.

Item Details

Item Type:Acquisition
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:112622
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:Office of the School of Creative Arts and Media
Deposited On:2016-11-18
Last Modified:2016-12-01

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