Today I went on the V-Line train down to Ballarat and visited two bookshops, Bakery Hill (where the police lined up to fight the Eureka Stockade chaps, but now they've got a McDonalds) and the Upholstery Gallery (a shop where a middle-aged lady tries to sell you a lot of pillows.) But that's not important: what's important is that in the Ballarat Art Gallery, they have an exhibition that is entirely cow!
There's cow paintings, cow sculptures, one painting of the golden calf, Holy Cows from the Book of Hours, and the Durham Ox, which is famous for some reason. There's some sketches of a prominent Whig politician with a cow, which could be greatly improved if there was less Whig, more cow, though I couldn't get the gallery staff to agree to my taking to it with an eraser. There were several terracotta cows, complete with terracotta milkmaids pulling at their teats, clearly symbolic of the teat of capitalist oppression, but mostly symbolic of cows.
Apparently the good folks at Ballarat Council opened this exhibition by inviting a butcher around, who had this to say:
"In our own way, butchers are artists. We select the carcasses, then use our skill and experience to prepare the cuts and present them in such as way as to make them attractive to the customer. Like artists, butchers work with people and have a rapport with people."
Thank you, butcher man.
In one room, the cows became gymnastic and piled upon one another in amazing acrobatic feats, while in another room a painted cow participates in rural festivities by standing still and looking like a cow, in a festive way. There was also a gloomy portrait by some Australian artist of a dead cow, which shows that he has complex feelings about cows, though I wonder what the cows think about him?
I could choose to end this post by saying it was a very moo-ving experience, so I will.
Tim, your links stink, you fink!
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