Rugger Buggers # 3 2009

Painting of naked rugby players
Oil on canvas
152.3 x 152.3 cm

This third and last painting completes the cycle. Three figures hopelessly entangled and going down are shown at the moment before their hard impact with the astro (ersatz) turf surface; their destiny with gravity. To complimentarily offset the saturated greenness of the synthetically manipulated astro turf I have placed a red leather cricket ball atop of the high sandstone wall. The wall has particular sexual significance in Sydney, being a hallowed gay beat. Ironically on the other side of the wall is the site of the Sydney gallows where a different type of play was often enacted. The three figures’ tackle is clearly visible and it has been suggested that it is of significance that they are all circumcised. In this vein the tattoo and star could be read together as being pertinent. The star is derived from Duchamp. A recess in the edifice of the sandstone wall (sandstone being an essential symbol of Sydney’s dominant traditional ruling classes) houses a trophy plaque punning on the word mail. This recess is strategically placed above the head of the right hand man who is obliged to support himself with his left. It can function as a religious mitre adorning his head denoting his religiously elevated position within the game. Are these then truly fallen angels? The cast shadow is a playful reminder of the intended jollity in games.