First Thursday Opening February 1st 6 - 8pm
Following a 2011 residency at Sydney’s majestic Taronga Zoo, Michael Kempson found inspiration in the stuffed animals arranged along the shelves of the gift shop. His latest work, Child’s Play (2016/17), is a panel installation of 50 iconic etchings depicting invented toy creatures representing nation states, each identified by their three-letter ISO country code. The formal arrangement of this menagerie is contained by the bookends of China’s panda and the American bald eagle, hinting at the international and regional challenges confronting the old order, precipitated by the shift in the world economy from west to east. They combine officially sanctioned animal representation and occasionally substitute a vernacular equivalent. For example, the regal lion representing Britain is instead the pugnacious bulldog. In mapping our current geopolitical junction, and pondering the inevitability that things will and must change, Child’s Play reflects on the legacy of the “not-so-cute” strategic decisions implemented in the past and perceives the value of patience as we apply the lessons learned throughout history to facing the future together.