An Economic Fable
An Economic Fable referenced the history of the Bargehouse along with its contemporary location – surrounded by expensive retail outlets, desirable residential properties, and Tate Modern, the powerhouse of the contemporary art market. The contrast between this new wealth and prosperity, the derelict nature of the Bargehouse and its working class origins are profound.
The Bargehouse, originally part of the Oxo Tower building, is most known for its association with the Oxo beef cube company. What is less well known is that during the early 1970s a small section of the building was used for the production of ‘long eggs’ for insertion into meat pies. I became intrigued by these fake eggs and began making associations with Aesop’s Fable, The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg. The morality tale of an unprofitable action motivated by greed resonates with our 21st century desire for wealth and celebrity status.
I transformed humble, mass produced egg trays; spending many hours embellishing them with gold paint. Cheap plastic dummy eggs (used for chickens) were covered in diamantes, creating mock Faberge eggs. The work, whilst appearing visually rich and opulent, has a hint of the cheap and tacky, becoming a symbol of false prosperity.
An Economic Fable was exhibited as part of Time and Vision, a group exhibition of Australian artists curated by Paul Bayley. For further information please visit here.
To view an ‘In Conversation’ between Paul Bayley and me please visit here.