Sunshine Coast Art Prize 2023 - Finalist
[Image courtesy of the artist]
Peter McCarthy | Try This On Your Highness | 2022 | sewn reclaimed zippers | 137 x 94cm
In 2020 I received a large donation of unwanted zippers. I was struck by their vivid colours and the irony this presented. They were so boldly coloured, yet the only reason for this was so that they disappear into a garment or functional object. Zippers became a metaphor for humility and servitude.
I have been living between Australia and West Africa since 2010 and lived through numerous civil disturbances: a coup, a revolution, violent elections, terrorist attacks, kidnappings, etc.
My art practice has become my own act of quiet resistance. I subvert traditional forms associated with identity, power and prestige, inviting the viewer to imagine the way to a new and better future.
I resisted this piece for a long time. The muted tertiary colours bugged me; they were too much like army camouflage and school uniforms. And yet this attitude of sacrifice and humility is what makes great leaders.