The Back Verandah, Russell Drysdale
Inkjet on watercolour paper
80 x 60 cm
Russell Drysdale’s 1942 painting, The Back Verandah, is a fairly minor yet charming work in his oeuvre of Australian outback subjects. It is a portrait of a blue collar family seen at the back of a traditional Australian weatherboard cottage, replete with an old couch casually draped with a bed sheet, a millet broom, a towel drying on a nail hammered into the boards and discarded car tyres recycled for plant pots in the dusty backyard. It is not a tableau exposing the political overtones of austerity, it is more a sympathetic portrait of the rural working class.
It became clear during the production of this re-imagining of Drysdale's painting that the results were unintentionally somewhat cartoonish, and that the viewer could interpret this as irony -- an interpretation about which I felt ambivalent. I decided to let the result stand because the visual similarity of digital 3D modelling art to computer games is often a consequence of the technique, and moreover, these added nuances of meaning are not necessarily undesirable.