From the Stand (MCG) – participation 2008-2009

From the stand is a painting that was commissioned to commemorate the building of the new southern stand at the Melbourne Cricket Club at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia. In this work the artist found himself drawn to the ways in which people interacted within the massive architectural form of the stand. He was particularly interested in a composition of activity and inactivity of the crowd and how this contributed to the stand’s atmosphere of participation. He followed the various characters, watching them sitting, standing and moving, wave upon human wave, into the distance, ultimately forming one sweeping wave. He was also struck by ways in which the bodies and objects created various associations and narratives relating to the history of sporting participation and of a current cultural climate. The beach ball sits somewhat rejected in the foreground. This is a reference to the banning of such balls from the stand at the time the artist made the painting. The artist also notes how flag waving and patriotism has increasingly become part of the popular culture. The various ethnicities represented in the painting are a reference to the present realities of a city made up of various ethnic groups and to the colonial past when the game of cricket was strictly the province of Anglo-Australians. The painting is a response to the MCG’s mantra of being “the people’s stadium.”

In the process of making this painting I somehow felt myself involved as a participant. I attempted to empathize with people from all walks of life, following how they entered and exited into each others lives.

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