Drafting is a collection of works that explores the relationship between livestock and farmers, shown through the agricultural process. I drew this inspiration from my own experiences on my family’s sheep farm.
The act of drafting is to separate livestock into different categories. It is the basis for all the care delivered to our animals, reflecting organisation, separation and reunification.
The central image of the work depicts a sheep yard, where drafting takes place, as well as the farmer leaning over the fence. The distorted reflection of the farmer represents the consuming lifestyle of raising livestock and the idea that it is ‘more than just a job.’ This image of my grandfather represents the generational nature of the family farm.
This artwork is comprised of multiple mediums on an authentic ‘wool pack.’ Stitched into the wool pack are photographs of intaglio prints which have been printed onto fabric.
The prints are influenced by William Kentridge’s printmaking practises such as layering imagery, using different coloured inks, and experimenting with negative space. By reprinting my artwork and images of the wool pack and wool I have appropriated myself and recreated a representation of my concept, which is a postmodern technique.
I have also incorporated tools from the farm, as well as objects and tools I have cast in resin and fibreglass. These tools each contribute to the care of sheep in some way and are a vessel of connection. They are tools shared between the human and the animal and are important to acknowledge when exploring the processes of agriculture.
I was inspired by local artist Niki Martignago’s casting practice and technical knowledge. I was fascinated by the idea of casting the objects from the farm to allow me to experiment with form, colour, and texture.
I found Jim Dine’s paintings of industrial objects a stimulus for using the tools as stencils and painting implements.
The repurposing of the tools connects the farming process with the art-making process, giving deeper meaning to the work.