An image of At home with the Locust People (Itchy feet)

Bonita Ely

(Australia 17 Aug 1946 – )

At home with the Locust People (Itchy feet)

20th & 21st c Australian art
Further information

Since the early 1970s, Bonita Ely's work has explored cultural histories and human interaction with the natural world, focusing in particular on themes of environmental degradation. She produced 'At home with the Locust People (Itchy feet)' 1974-75 at a time when pollution and population were prominent issues. The central figures are mutant hybrids of human and locust anatomies. These vulgar creatures embrace precariously in a domestic setting, a gesture that conflates human behaviour with the 'gregarious phase' of locusts, in which they congregate into rapacious, mass-reproducing swarms with disastrous impacts on land fertility. Correspondingly, the view out the window beyond is bleak: a vast, unpopulated expanse which smoulders an ominous dirty-amber. The work is a cynical prediction of future environmental devastation, in which humans are both the victim and perpetrator.

Place of origin
New York, New York, United States of America
Mixed media painting, Painting
oil and collage on canvas
140.3 x 184.6 x 5.1 cm frame
Signature & date

Signed l.r. corner, red oil "Bonita Ely".
Dated u.r. corner verso on canvas, red oil "1974-75/ ...".

Rudy Komon Memorial Fund 2015
Accession number
© Bonita Ely. Licensed by Copyright Agency