5827 Prospective Pets Per Day

‘5827 Prospective Pets Per Day’ (2010) is made up of 50 small rectangular works that sit together in an installation using seriality. I began with four large pieces of brown recycled cardboard and painted, splashed and leaked white paint onto the card forming vague figures of cow carcasses. This required me to research the image of the carcass quite extensively and although horrified at first, I was surprised to find myself very disconnected from the images as they too became silhouettes in my mind. I then drew patterns over the tops of the white paint to form more obvious drawings of the carcasses, incorporating the ribs, hooves and remaining entrails that existed in the found images. These four large pieces of cardboard were then cut into 50 smaller pieces which further obscured the images making them more decorative than the previously bleak representations of death.

Each work was then embellished with a stitched silhouette of a cow using a series of red shades and labelled with the name of a pet that friends had loved. 5827 is the approximate number of cows that are slaughtered or exported every day in Australia. It is a significant number. I wanted to make this number evident through the titling of the work and also make visible that they are animals, as are the viewers’ pets, animals that could have had names and could have been loved.

-“Livestock Products Australia Dec 2011,” Australian Bureau of Statistics, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/7215.0.