Peter McCarthy

Try This On Your Highness | 2022 | sewn reclaimed zippers | 137 x 94cm

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

Artist Statement

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.

Sunshine Coast Council acknowledges the Sunshine Coast Country, home of the Kabi Kabi peoples and the Jinibara peoples, the Traditional Custodians, whose lands and waters we all now share.
We commit to working in partnership with the Traditional Custodians and the broader First Nations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) community to support self-determination through economic and community development.
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