Artist Book Project

Artist Book Project


The Honey and the Bunny

Working with Monica Oppen on an artist book project, Yes Please. At first I got over excited and came up with and started an overworked over excited 3D (trying too hard) invention. After calming down, I went with a series of photography images I’d shot from an exhibition in 2011 Home is Where the Rabbit Lives.

The Body of work was developed after receiving an Arts NSW fellowship, focusing on the community’s strong love of a football team, its culture, a sense belonging and its symbolism through the NSW landscape. As a team the Rabbithohs embrace the working-class, underdog, and the urban Aboriginal, with the name of the team derived from the call of the rabbit vendor making his way by horse-and-cart through South Sydney streets sprucing ‘Rabbit-ohs, rabbit-ohs!’. The rabbit vendors of yesteryear were more often than not Aboriginal.
Aboriginal society was and remains a prominent feature of Souths Sydney, particularly in Redfern, where it also carries an underdog status in the broader Australian society. Not to over look the long awaited present excitement of every passionate Rabbithohs fans totally enjoying the top of the charts position this year 2013.

There are two sets of images used on each artist book, “The Honey and the Bunny”. A love story initially told via film and a series of photographs that also appear in the film as still images. Honey (an Aboriginal drag queen Destiny ) and Bunny (the Rabbitohs’ Charlie Rabbit mascot) are, to say the least, an unlikely couple despite their shared fondness for fur, the colour red and big hair (well, big ears in Bunny’s case).
The first story board is set as the couple are introduced to us and each other at Redern Oval over seeing a training session. As they get more aquatinted we follow them in the second story board strolling through Redfern under a moonlit sky until they end up hand in hand under a terrace balcony emblazoned with the word ‘love’ in a string of fairy lights.

At first viewing the photos, in film now in book form I would like the viewer to play in some tongue-in-cheek humour, opening up with a kind of piss-take on the ultra macho world of rugby league. Given the images were created and shot as a journey of an innocent first date, and also the fact that as a mad collage artist the majority of the time, the red ball has bounced off the short film on to the pages of the books. In the style of a poignant, queer fable, Destiny and Charlie speak to me about hope and love in the concrete jungle, and the enduring dreams of the underdog.
Along with Monica Oppens exquisite handmade bound sculptural story boards and boxes the works are housed in,
each artist book has an original collaged front cover and colophon. As with a lot of my recent canvases a black net, incases the constructed collage, the net represents a dark shadow, a shadow that lingers on my personal history and the history of Australia’s colonisation.

Event Details

  • Location: Southern Cross Uni Library
  • Starts: 27th June
  • Opening Hours: thursday 4pm