Ideas of Refinement, Principles of Taste (2008)DVD, Colour with sound, Duration 4′:00″, Dimensions variable
Ideas of Refinement, Principles of Taste, Installation view, Impressions Gallery, 2009
Ideas of Refinement, Principles of Taste, Installation view, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, 2010
Ideas of Refinement, Principles of Taste, Installation view, Serlachius Museum Gustaf, 2022
Ideas of Refinement, Principles of Taste (stills)
Ideas of Refinement, Principles of Taste was made while I was artist in residence at Monash University in Melbourne. The title comes from the obituary of Georgiana McCrae, one of that cities early settler wives. She was the illegitimate daughter of a Scottish Duke, and a revered portrait painter of the aristocracy in England and Scotland. She went from living in a castle to the shanty town that Melbourne was in 1840. She had married a reckless prospector for who she bore nine children. Cut off from her estate by a jealous step mother, she managed to uphold Victorian standards of society and decorum despite unbearable physical and fiscal hardships. She is credited with being the founding mother of Melbourne’s cultural community. The video piece is allegorical. The action and sound are reminiscent of a cow grazing, as the artist eats a sandwich plagued by flies she seems not to notice, though she eats one in the end.