roughs for the installation

The Boxing Kangaroos, 2012

About the work:

The Boxing Kangaroos reference the kind of sideshow entertainment common at the turn of the 20th Century and no doubt
to Wonderland City Amusement Park (which the Tent of Wonders is referencing). I have chosen to pitch animal body against
animal body (instead of man), but references to the hand of man orchestrating the fight is clear on the backs of the animal bodies.
In this work I have opted to employ the skins of other species to re-skin the Kangaroos, black leather from introduced animals,
mainly cattle and sheep. Unlike many other native species, Kangaroos have benefited from the introduction of grazing animals
ensuring grassland to feed on all year round. Whilst Roo skins are harvested mostly for the tourist industry, I have chosen to
re-skin my Roos with the skins of introduced species. Farmed animal skins removed at the slaughterhouse, shaved, tanned, bleached,
coloured and fashioned into jackets and shoes, bags and purses, skirts, pants, gloves and belts, then discarded, and re-used to re-skin
my kangaroos. The kangaroos are pitched pretty evenly in size and volume against each other, which might imply the animal at war
with itself, but this is not the case. Clad in skins already third hand, the work, silhouetted in black leather has a menacing sadist
and masochist quality, played out in the skins of the other. Here the boxing Kangaroo creates a new spectacle, master and slave,
native and exotic, natural and man-made, wild and domesticated, altogether much more alarming and complex than a mere bout of boxing.

Leather & skin fabrication, Narelda Sheehan.

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