On holiday, lying on the couch, looking on top of the kitchen cupboard I noticed an array of supermarket products carefully arranged for future use and general admiration. Why are these not more often employed for subject matter in paintings, being as they are, so compelling, I asked myself?
I texted my friend D to let him know that I would deliver a still life for him to tackle, 'an unpaid commission', I suggested, if he was amenable. 'Well, certainly', he said. 'I look forward to it.'
Upon returning to Sydney I made it my first task of the new year to go to Woollies. The choice of items was at first quite overwhelming.
To narrow the choices I limited myself to the food we have provided aboriginal communities over the last hundred years. Condensed milk, white flour, white sugar, Coke, Panadol, disposable nappies, Coco Pops, Arnotts biscuits, chips, Mars bars and Cadbury's milk chocolate.
The trolley of product was not as glamorous looking as the stacked cans on top of the cupboard, but there was another aspect in the choices, which I trusted D would find equally appealing, even if they were of a conceptual nature.
I delivered the shopping to D yesterday. We shall see what comes from it. D was flattered but somewhat mystified by my intention however, he seemed to warm to the task in good faith, as is his nature. I asked him if he might paint the items with the same sensitivity to the subjects that he usually employed and to also frame the painting in a way that alluded to the choices I had made, which I explained to him.
I shall post an image here, of the completed work when he shows me, subject to his approval.