Two artists whose work critically addresses these conventions or codes are Wayne Barker and Brett Murray.
Look at these examples of their work. Wayne Barker’s painting is called Blue Colonies. It “quotes” Pierneef; that is, it looks deliberately similar to one which Pierneef might have painted. He has attached two Dutch 17th-century porcelain figures, and also superimposed a logo from commercial biscuit packaging, “Blue Label”. He has also included the logo of the V.O.C., the Dutch East India Company that established a refreshment station at the Cape for its ships, in 1652.
The title of Brett Murray’s work is Empire. Murray, too, appears to have translated a conventional old-fashioned landscape, but into another medium, that of cut-out metal. Like Barker, he has made additions to the landscape: in this instance, a bottle of sand, a small “conventional” landscape framed in the manner of colonial times, and the word “Empire” in a very ornate, old-fashioned style of lettering.
Talk About This
Look at these two works, and think about their messages. Discuss each of the objects that have benn added to the two landscapes.
Try to work out how these symbolic objects fit in, and what they seem to be symbols of.