The Calling of Dallas Gorey

2007, 108 x 180 cms

It occurred to me, having meditated on Caravaggio's Calling of St Matthew, 1599, that there were parallels to make with the manner by which young Arrernte males were deemed ripe for taking to bush camp for their initiation rites. Lorraine Gorey's young lads lived nearby and she was happy for her son, Dallas and herself to participate in this work. The clincher for me, when researching possibilities for candidature, was noting the cluster of Catholic paraphernalia in the corner of her lounge, and how this would express the co-existence of both a Western and indigenous religious practice. The allusion to the Caravaggio work followed. Lorraine's actual wall bore a reproduction of an idyllic Top-End island beach, which I was prepared to simulate. Then I felt that the large space between the figures required something with enhanced gestural tissue and the Italian configuration was the obvious clue for the taking.