2. Compare and contrast bodies of work by two artists you have studied. In your discussion, address the significance of intentions to their practise. The intention of practitioners is pivotal to their practice, these intentions may be different or similar between artists, and two artists whose body of works will be discussed throughout this response include Chris O’Doherty (b. 1951) a contemporary Australian artist and Lin Onus (b. 1948 d. 1996) a contemporary Indigenous Australian artist.
The artworks in which will be compared and contrasted are Chris O’Doherty’s Aussie Jesus series, including “Aussie Jesus at the Football” (1996) available in poster, calendar and t-shirt form and Lin Onus’ three metre mixed media installation “Fruit Bats”(1990) Although both artists are Australian, Chris O’Doherty is an Anglo-Saxon Australian and was raised as a Christian and has a commercial background, as a rock musician he conveys his intentions in pop culture with many of his artworks placed on T-shirts, posters and calendars, an example of this is his artwork “Jesus at the Football”, whereas Lin Onus is not influenced by a commercial background, growing up as a man who had experienced the segregation and assimilation of the aboriginal peoples, Lin onus’ artworks are made to illustrate the loss and hope for aboriginal culture and how it has mixed with western culture, this can be seen in his artwork “Fruit bats” he is an Indigenous Australian raised in Aboriginal culture. However despite these differences they both identify with Australian contemporary culture. In this way that an artist’s world impacts their body of work.
Chris O’Doherty’s intentions were directly influenced by him being a commercial artist, as when he was in the band “Mad as Anything” he would design their album covers, and other promotional merchandise, this relates to many of his works such as “Aussie Jesus at the Football” which can be bought in the form of a poster, calendar, and shirts, this is a direct reference to O’Doherty’s use of popular culture in order to spread his art to a wide Audience O’Doherty also uses his artwork to educate his audience on spiritual aspects in contemporary Australia, while using humour in order to better communicate what he is trying to express, this can be seen in many of his “Aussie Jesus” works, specifically “Aussie Jesus at the football” (1996) through the use of the reinterpreted form of ‘Jesus’ if he was Australian, O’Doherty re-invents The bible story of ‘ The Miracle of the Loaves and the Fishes’ into a new Australian setting of ‘the Miracle of the pies and beer” in which allows him to reinterpret the original moral lesson, and to make a contemporary comment about the nature of worship in our culture today, in terms of our worship of food, beer and sports more than things such as family or church. Similarly Lin Onus aims to educate his audience on the Traditional Aboriginal culture, how it has become moulded to western culture and how it affects the Aboriginal peoples.
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The installation “Fruit Bats”(1990) is a collection in which displays the fruit bats hanging of a Hill Hoist (clothesline) a symbol of western culture, in which is a direct reference to the effect of suburbia on the land and how these indigenous animals have adapted through them hanging of the clothesline and not a tree. However there is also a use of humour in his work, the small disks located on the floor and up the post of the hills hoist are symbols of the bats’ droppings, however display a flower like pattern. In this way Onus wishes to reflect on his culture in terms of the progression of the intertwining of Aboriginal and Western cultures.
Lin Onus also uses the medium of an installation in the artwork “Fruit Bats” (1990) which enables the audience to participate with the work and therefore is available for a wider audience much like O’Doherty. The artworks Differ in their medium, Lin Onus’ “Fruit Bats” (1990) is an installation piece made up of mixed media, whereas many of O’Doherty’s works such as “Aussie Jesus at the Football” are purchasable items in the form of posters, Calenders, shirts and much more, these are however linked to their common ability to communicate to a larger audience as O’Doherty’s work can be bought by many and Onus’ “Fruit Bats” can involve a large audience.
Another contrasting aspect of these works is the religion imbued in the work where as “Aussie Jesus” implies the artworks Christian nature Chis O’Doherty’s work is subtly Indigenous through the use of Traditional aboriginal symbols and techniques seen in “Fruit Bats”(1990), this then leads to the differences in the artistic style of the bodies of work, O’Doherty uses a comic like style in his illustrations of the bible in contemporary terms, while Onus mixes Western and Traditional Aboriginal art styles such as the Arnhem land crosshatching seen on the wings of the fruit bats in the artwork “Fruit Bats” (1990), in this way both collections of work communicate culture and spirituality. The artworks also contrast in their subject matters while Chris O’Doherty deals with the ideas of worship and contemporary Australian culture in his “Aussie Jesus” specifically “Aussie Jesus at the Football”(1996), Lin Onus focuses on the mixing of Western culture and Indigenous Australian culture and its effect on Aboriginal Australians. Finally Both artworks deal with Humour in their works while still pertaining to communicate a more serious message. O’Doherty uses humour in that he re-contextualises the bible stories into more comedic modern terms while making a point on Australian contemporary culture and worship.
Lin Onus also uses humour in his work “Fruit Bats” through the disks with flower patterns scattered over and around the Hills Hoist actually representing the bat droppings, however still communicating the more serious notion of the adaption of the Aboriginal people to western culture. It is evident that Both Lin Onus and Chris O’Doherty address the significance of intention to their practise. This has been demonstrated by comparing their bodies of work, including Chis O’Doherty’s “Aussie Jesus” series and Lin Onus’ installation piece “Fruit Bats” (1990). While these artists are completely different in their artistic styles, subject matter and mediums they share a common interest in their intentions of their art practise, showing their view on Australian culture and heritage, while imbuing their works with spirituality, humour and making it more accessible to a wide audience.
on Compare and Contrast Bodies of Work by Two Artists
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