Darren Wardle

Banana republic

oil and acrylic on canvas
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Banana republic was conceived as a form of history painting with an identity crisis. It was painted as a response to the outcome of the 2013 federal election and the subsequent devolution to a jaundiced conservatism. It’s a monument to failure, to abandoned utopian ideals and the decay of progressive vision within the Australian political mainstream.

This interior, based on a derelict decommissioned high school in one of Melbourne’s poorest postcodes, is an allegory about the outcome for communities when they are left behind, when social structures fracture and people become isolated in a world that promotes itself as connected.

- Darren Wardle, 2014