Image for Rodney Pople’s Creative Mind ...

Rodney Pople ‘Bushwalkers’ - Endangered series 2016 (John Gay with Robin Gray with denuded hillside and threatened species on the leash…)

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Rodney Pople 2016 ‘I am the Walrus’ endangered series (as depicted by Pople with John Gay and politicians chained together in the history of Tasmanian Forestry)

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Rodney Pople ... in front of a painting depicting an orgy at the altar ... which led to protests outside the gallery displaying his works in Sydney ... 

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Port Arthur ...

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The ‘shark’  as part of the Bellini Altarpiece: RODNEY POPLE Bellini Altarpiece, 2009, oil and archival photographic media on linen Tryptich - each panel   200 x 132 cm

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Rodney’s vision of the Legislative Council ...

I have a confession to make: I love Rodney Pople’s amazing art. The way he takes on established authority ... whether it be politics in Tassie or the power of established religion. Or the way he remembered Port Arthur ...

Rodney Pople’s latest exhibition - currently showing at Despard Gallery - depicts the link with politicians, John Gay (Gunns) and the debacle that has been forestry in Tasmania. Couldn’t have been timed better ... Robin Gray is back in the news here in his ongoing feud with Eric Abetz, Examiner: Former premier Robin Gray says Abetz has to go

Tassie Times reported the 2012 exhibition thus:

Sydney based artist Pople has been a regular visitor to Tasmania over many years. Born in Launceston, Pople studied at the Tasmanian School of Art.

The artist has not shied away from controversy in his work, in 2009 dozens of protesters picketed his Sydney Gallery over the use of pornographic imagery set among Church alter pieces in Venice; interestingly the same paintings exhibited at Despard Gallery only drew one written protest stuffed under the door….

Pople’s Glover Prize winning entry was titled “Port Arthur”.

It depicts a figure with blond hair standing on the road holding a rifle, the reference to Martin Bryant gives the painting a truly haunting presence and will no doubt raise the controversy about censorship in art - historically artists have depicted violence in war, sexual exploitation and man’s vulnerability as seen from their perspective, Rodney in his practice consistently uses historical references in contemporary paintings.

Pople’s inclusion of Bryant set among one of the bloodiest and most violent prisons of our colonial past is a grim reminder of a terrible event in Tasmania’s history.

*Lindsay Tuffin has been a journo since 1969, mainly in Tassie ...  apart from a few years in Pomland where he edited ‘Buzz’ for five years, a magazine dealing with church and social issues [beaten in audit circulation only by Aero Modeller magazine (Specialist Interest category)]; and a brief stint as a Uni chaplain ...