Making plants - a portrait of Franque

Joshua Cocking

Artist Statement
Making plants—a portrait of Franque continues my pursuit of the figurative and landscape painting tradition. Although the composition contains images of others, the work is highly self-referential. Through the layering of images, taken from old family albums and the past decade of contemporary life, this painting acts a document of my personal experiences.

Images of Australian colonial paintings appear as anchor points, an historical reference to the Australian art canon and a means of self-comprehension of inherited history. This has particular pertinence in my life, living and working in and around remote indigenous communities in the remote Kimberley region of North-Western Australia over the last 12 years.

About the Subject
Franque Batty is my neighbour across the road and one of the most interesting and funny people I know. Some of the things I like about Franque are: he was in the circus for years and has now trained to become a primary school teacher. He has acted in the theatre, has chooks we can feed our scraps to, has a trailer he lets me use all the time, and his father David was the creator of the ABC series Bush Mechanics.

Further Insight
Born in Melbourne and currently based in Western Australia, Joshua Cocking is an artist whose practice is motivated by humanist, environmental and technological concerns. He has spent the last twelve years living in and around remote indigenous communities in the country’s north.

Cocking has been a finalist and winner in many prestigious awards including the Paddington Art Prize, The Lester Prize, Cossack Art Awards, Mid West Art Prize, and Hedland Art Awards.

Medium: Oil on linen

Size: 182 cm x 182 cm

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