Kere: Big Meat Morning


2006, 113 x 167 cms


I'd actually anticipated a version of Tintoretto's, Last Supper, and perhaps that's still to come. I went to collect my trailer one morning to find it chokka with offal and hides, the remains of three steers slaughtered the night before. The great head of one beast lay asunder on the ground. Michael Hayes and Gerald Rice were cooking up some tender cuts, and Adrian Hayes wields the butcher's knife. Meat was everywhere, hanging from branches, overlapping the benches. I gave a ruddy complexion to the scene and reflected on Robert Hughes' description of the blood colour in Goya's Third of May, 1808. '...the blood is pigment of course. It has dried to a scratched, dirty russet crust, soaked into the canvas like real blood soaking into the dry clay of the hill. The pigment lacks the artifice of painted blood; it looks like a photo of the blood in a police report.' That passage, for me, resonated with the severed head and was an immediate candidate for this composition. I also wanted to refer to the cramped and forlorn looking pig, who, after several months in that confined page, got a larger pen devoid of shade. Even my contribution of a door and some shade cloth failed to inspire a protective effort for the pig.