2013, Oil on Italian Linen, 120 x 100cm
Albany Art Prize 2014, Finalist and Highly Commended
Eutick Memorial Still Life Award 2013; Winner, Sponsors Prize
China paid a heavy price for having something another wanted really, really badly.
Commonly used after an animal is spayed, the Elizabethan collar references the tumultuous last century in which China’s potential was neutered time and again. As an echo of Britain’s 19th century aggression whereby the Royal Navy killed thousands in support of the illegal opium for tea trade, it encircles the throat of an Imperial lion from Beijing’s Forbidden City. The consequence was millions blighted to an addiction that at its peak afflicted almost half China’s population and persisted until the 1950’s.
Weakened by foreign invasion, opium and a succession of poor rulers, the Forbidden City’s eunuch administration was expelled and the Emperor removed. Then followed the Japanese occupation, a debilitating civil war, mass starvation during Mao’s Great Leap Forward, mass hysteria in the Cultural Revolution and massacre during the Tiananmen Square uprising.
Indeed it is only in the past 2 decades China has managed to reverse the 200 years of strangulation begun when the British decided they really wanted a nice cup of tea.
Commended at the 2014 Albany Art Prize, here's what the judges had to say: “This commanding work realises a complex idea with majesty and humour, taking it well beyond a pun. Quick invites us to consider contemporary Chinese history and political relationships, but the work extends beyond that to our personal understandings. His extraordinary technique parallels the power of the timely subject.” 2014 Judging Panel Comment