Strange Fruit – 2022
Mixed media sculpture – Stone, dead tortured witch hazel tree, leather riempie(thong), string, old metal hook, dilapidated antique Chinese doll. H123 W80 x D50 cm
Inspired by the hanging of Sam Poo, a Chinese Bushranger (highwayman) who operated in the Central West of NSW until his apprehension in 1865. He was sentenced to be hanged for the murder of a NSW policeman Trooper John Ward and executed at the Bathurst Gaol in December 1865.
The stone acts as a stabilizing counter weight to effect the hanging. The informality of this execution is more akin to a lynching than a State sanctioned murder.
In the current political atmosphere in Australia our leaders are now vilifying or ‘hanging’ the Chinese. This is the latest variation of targeting the “other’ after a few decades of Muslim bashing, and is currently implemented in Australia to, not only meet (the perceived) needs of an inherent racism, but also to appease the USA whose ideology is directed against the rising power of the Chinese government.