Jacqui Stockdale’s new exhibition ‘Ghost Hoovanah’ will open at the Gallery on 30 June 2018.
‘Ghost Hoovanah’ comprises six photographs and an installation of mixed-media paintings. The work explores the play between dualities; human and animal, ghost and mortal, memory and documented history. The title of the show indicates a mix of themes; ghosts and hooved animals, in particular the horse.
‘I consider ‘horse and rider’ as metaphor for a journey, both physical and emotional. The ever-present battle between these dualities is symbolized through the posture of the subjects, as well as the costumes; the fighting capes and the Mexican wrestling masks. The mixed-media paintings explore this same theme, spooky and whimsical, combining animal/human imagery.
In this series I introduce live animals to my repertoire, thereby undertaking more challenging photo shoots in outdoor settings. The way I photograph these images pays homage to early studio photography, that made use of painters lighting techniques to create photographic portraits.’ (Jacqui Stockdale, 2018)
In the photographs both animal and human subjects are clad in headdresses and posed in front of backdrops hand painted by Stockdale, of an old gold mining quarry in Bendigo originally called Dai Gum San, meaning Land of Hope and Fortune. A hint of melancholy in the images is offset by the alluring faces and a rich variety of textures, such as skin, horse hair, folded fabrics, sparkles, sand, horse hooves and human hair. The colonial and vintage costumes and masquerades lead the characters into mystical and fictional worlds, acted out by contemporary people living in a complex modern world.