Sometimes you need things, and other times they're just nice to have
Cast bronze commemorative coin,
6cm x 6cm x 0.4cm
Hung with oil on board (gift of Mack Jost, through the Australian Governments Cultural Gift
The title of this work, Sometimes you need things, and other times they're just nice to have, is lifted from a promotional brochure advertising person loans available at the ANZ Bank. The work materialised as a coin commemorating the most valuable painting in the Horsham Regional Art Gallery collection, Rupert Bunny's Susanna and the Elders. The painting tells the biblical story of Susanna, a woman married to a senior elder who one day, while bathing, is spied on by two other elders. In the face of Susanna's rejection, the two men seek revenge and rush to the courts to claim that it was actually Susanna
who tried to seduce them rather than the other way around. As a result, Susanna is accused of adultery and sentenced to death. As it happens, the tale of Susanna and the Elders is also one of the most referenced biblical stories throughout art history, as it provided a legitimate reason to paint the female nude. This two-sided moral tale of female subjection was depicted on the coin and embedded in the gallery wall while the original painting hung in the local ANZ Bank for the duration of the exhibition. By using the narrative within the painting and its status as a valuable work of art beyond this, Sometimes you need things, and other times they're just nice to have sits at the intersection of desire, value and necessity. The coin commemorating Susanna now resices in the Horsham Regional Art Gallery collection.
This work was exhibited in Country Practice at Horsham Regional Art Gallery, curated by Geoff Newton and running from July 31 – September 27, 2015. It included Fiona Connor, Kate Daw & Stewart Russell, Geoff Newton and Isabelle Sully. Punning on the long-running TV soap, Country Practice sees five city-based contemporary artists work with the collection, architecture and surrounding community of the Horsham Regional Art Gallery.