Sunshine Coast Art Prize 2023 - Finalist
[Image courtesy of the artist. Image: Elena Hogan]
Charlie Donaldson | Anecdote no. 9 | 2023 | oil pencil gouache pearlescent ink | 81.5 x 64cm
Grid-based online image archives facilitate a flourishing cross-pollination of pictures from every facet of history and culture, generating arrangements that could be read as stories. Recently, my research examines European prehistoric painted caves, such as Lascaux and Altamira, decorated between 12,000 and 33,000 years ago. The sophisticated, layered paintings at these sites appear incomprehensible to us, their meaning lost to an expanse of deep time. Using disparate references accumulated online by chance encounter, my work draws parallels between these enigmatic sites and contemporary digital folklore, where complex layers of humour and inscrutability as well as the rapid progression of visual languages counter the notion that the internet is for everyone. By emphasising parts of supposed narrative (location, prop, character, action) drawn together playfully in hand-made toy block frames, the resulting stories provide insight into the legibility and durability of folk-historical and empirical narratives in contemporary culture.