Shark as Object, 2019
Watercolour on paper- framed, 78cm x 63.5cm
This work has come about through my weekly visits to draw and document objects held at the Queensland Museum. A deep love and fascination of natural history and a long-standing practice within the genre of still life have collided to produce the perfect storm of subject matter and conceptual concerns. The ideas around the objectification of creatures has led to a d-evolution of the shark, from the valuable museum holotype skin of the Grey Nurse shark down to kitsch soap holders and shark suit–wearing Lego figurines. How do we feel about the various images of shark within our popular culture? From shiver to shudder, can it help our understanding and appreciation for the shark as an integral and important species? German mystic St Hildegard of Bingen said in the eleventh century “If we fall deeper and deeper in love with creation, we will respond to its endangerment with passion.” If this is the case, maybe even a plastic, grinning, dancing effigy of a shark can be redeemed.