Sunshine Coast Art Prize 2016 – Finalist
[Image courtesy of the artist]
Rew Hanks | A Touch of Home | 2015 | linoprint | 110 x 145 cm
In 1859 a wealthy squatter from Geelong, Thomas Austin, imported 24 wild rabbits from England. Austin declared “The introduction of a few rabbits might provide a spot of hunting and a touch of home”.
By 1880 the rabbit population in Australia had proliferated to over 1 billion. This coincided with the first royal visit to Australia by Prince Alfred who joined Austin on his estate Barwon Park where they slaughtered hundreds of rabbits. Later while visiting Sydney Prince Alfred was shot in the back during a failed assassination attempt. The introduction of rabbits causes a $500 million per annum loss to primary production.