A portrait of place

Council will purchase an artwork by internationally acclaimed, local artist, Stieg Persson, on the recommendation of its independent Arts Board.

The Board recommended the acquisition of Duck and Quail Eggs, Italian Herbs (2015) as it is a high quality example of contemporary art by a well-established local artist and provides social interpretations of Bayside.

Duck and quail eggs, Italian herbs (2015) is a subtle critique of the contemporary obsession with food in lieu of engagement with culture through music, theatre, literature and art.

Persson’s interest is to reflect on class, and in particular Australia’s discomfort with its own so-called non-classless society. Both the blackboard text and the graffiti tags are drawn from the areas of Brighton’s Church and Bay streets.

This particular work was displayed as one of six works by the artist at the Museum of Contemporary Art during The National: New Australian art in 2017 and references Brighton specifically. The work has been described by curator AGNSW Blair French as ‘a portrait of place’.

Persson’s work is represented in all major Australian collections including the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; plus Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Mayor, Councillor Michael Heffernan said art by its very nature is controversial and subjective, and robust discussion and differing points of view are to be encouraged.

“I don’t profess to be an expert in art appreciation but I do believe we should preserve and celebrate our cultural identity, and the contribution of local artists that achieve international acclaim.

“The members of the Bayside Arts Board are highly qualified and there are rigorous selection criteria around art acquisition in the Bayside City Council’s Art and Heritage Collections Policy,” said Cr Heffernan.

The Arts Board recommended the purchase of the ‘Duck and Quail Eggs, Italian Herbs’ artwork as it fulfils all four of the objectives of the Bayside City Council’s Art and Heritage Collections Policy, to:

  • nurture a sense of community and shared history;
  • assist in developing a sense of identity, pride and place;
  • enhance and enrich public spaces;
  • promote art and artists as a valuable part of the Bayside community.

STIEG PERSSON, Duck and quail eggs, Italian herbs 2015, oil on linen, 187 x 227 cm

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