The alluring characters in Jacqui Stockdale’s The Offering emerge from elements of performance – an offering that is performed between the artist and the sitter.
“The living subject is my vehicle that I use to tell a story about being human, about all the worlds we inhabit. As a child we start this process of inventing other selves and other realms through play. When I make a portrait my play becomes a ritual where something new emerges and I offer it up and start again.”
Stockdale’s use of masquerade, symbols and staged scenes create an avenue for her subjects to transform. Her works are layered with historical and cultural references but are interrupted by pure imagination, personal experience and of course, the sitter’s offering. An offering to be part of the collaborative process with the artist and emerge with a new identity.
By combining the familiar with the unfamiliar, Stockdale creates intriguing portraits which open up a psychological portal between contemporary Australian cultural identity and its colonial consciousness. The imagined realities are displaced in both time and geographical context, but also raise questions about what is possible.
The Offering highlights iconic works from Stockdale’s extensive practice over the past 15 years and includes her most ambitious work to date – a large sculpture of a masked, pregnant and barefoot bushranger on a horse the size of Pharlap. Collectively the works in this exhibition demonstrate the power of imagination and transformation, told through the lens of Stockdale’s formidable storytelling.
The Offering 2016
type C print
edition of 8 + 2AP
140 x 110 cm
Jacqui Stockdale is represented by Olsen Gallery in Sydney, Australia.