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Elliot Christmas

Mosman High School

CARELESS CONSUMPTION

Collection of Work

Oil on canvas, graphite on paper, ceramics

My body of work highlights the overuse of plastic in modern food packaging. Society seems to place great value on single-use plastic, with supermarkets sheathing their products in it. By presenting these 'throwaway' items as my subject, using a traditional vanitas style and the medium of ceramics, I expose the ironies in how we collectively value plastic. By representing something like a chip bag in fastidious detail I place the significance of art on it, and position the viewer to consider the value they put on these items.

My artmaking practice has been influenced by the study and interpretation of Dutch masters’ vanitas style.

Marker's Commentary

Conspicuous Consumption is a highly accomplished interpretation of the still life genre. Objects of consumerism have been skillfully elevated to high art through striking paintings, delicate pencil rendering and funky ceramic sculptures. Details of labels, dates and times on used, degradable products, wrapped in plastic, reference our disposable world, signifying humanity’s role in the degradation of the environment.

This collection emulates the memento mori of the Dutch masters and skillfully incorporates characteristics of Pop Art and photographic practice. The artist demonstrates a mastery of techniques in the confident photographic realism of his paintings. The superb clarity of colour and outstanding depiction of reflective surfaces lit by a bright, white light assures the objects transcend their everyday state. The sculptures are playful and deftly crafted and along with the delicate, tonal drawings further promote the subject creating objects of value and beauty.