Gwenn Tasker recasts the twelve heroic acts of Heracles into an ambiguous time and place, juxtaposing elements from past and present. This allows the audience to reassess the nature of heroism through the lens of their own experience, while retaining a sense of the mythological. There is a familiar callous ruthlessness in the hero, although the tasks of a pre-technological age, under the spotlight of an artist’s own ruthless gaze, look uncomfortably awkward and unsophisticated. The intention is to provoke an unsettling visceral reaction rather than explicit suggestions. The artist has produced a series of twelve etchings in response to the poem, employing a rich visual narrative style, which employs some elements of Greek art, such as portraying the hero in profile, while fully engaging in the unique aesthetic qualities of the etching processes.
Visual Arts and Crafts Strategy funding for the
project gratefully received from Arts Queensland