An image of Imagine a raft: hard rubbish 4+5

Jon Cattapan

(Australia 15 Apr 1956 – )

Imagine a raft: hard rubbish 4+5

Other titles:
Imagine a Raft: Hard Rubbish 4+5
Not on display
Further information

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Bulgari Art Award 2013

The Bulgari Art Award for contemporary painting has enabled the Gallery to acquire an exceptional work by Jon Cattapan for our permanent collection. Cattapan is a highly regarded artist and one of Australia's finest contemporary painters. His subject is often contemporary cities: their architecture and organisation, and their various modes of occupation. Cattapan overlays specific imagery with an abstract patterning that recalls the digital matrixes through which information circulates, extending local references into more global concerns.

The triptych 'Imagine a raft: hard rubbish 4+5' 2012, was painted over a five year period, evolving through a series of accruals and revisions. The left and right panels present schematic versions of a raft like assemblage of detritus, based on a pile of disused furniture waiting for the council collection trucks at the end of Cattapan's street in Melbourne's St Kilda. The central panel refers more broadly to the idea of the city as a global screen of gridded information.

For Cattapan, the discarded objects resembled a marooned vessel, and set him thinking about broader issues of what we value and what we discard. How do simple belongings shape our sense of identity? And how, by extension, can global preoccupations with territories and surveillance inform the creative zeitgeist of our times? These questions are a part of the artist's thinking and aesthetic.

Place of origin
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
triptych: oil on linen
dimensions variable :
a - left panel; 140.5 x 140.3 cm; stretcher
b - central panel; 140.7 x 140 cm; stretcher
c - right panel; 140.7 x 140.2 cm; stretcher
Signature & date

Signed and dated u.l. verso on canvas [part a], black fibre-tipped pen "Cattapan 2006-2011".
Signed and dated u.r. verso on canvas [part b], black fibre-tipped pen "Cattapan 2006-2011 [underlined]".
Signed and dated u.r. verso on canvas [part c], black fibre-tipped pen "Cattapan 2010".

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Bulgari Art Award 2013
Accession number
© Jon Cattapan