Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Left Bank (of Merri Creek)

PHILISTINES! Blair and Bolt should be ashamed of themselves for doubting the wisdom of Moreland Council’s decision to award a paltry $7000 to artist Timothy Craker. Why, it is no more than the total sum any 32.4 homeowners must pay annually for the right to put a 120-litre wheelie bins outside the front gate! Or, if you are thinking of starting a food business in the municipality, then consider the obligatory $430 fee to register that enterprise and accept that Craker’s charge for wrapping lamp posts in mutilated orange safety mesh has been raised from the start-up capital of just sixteen aspiring restaurateurs. And to really put the art deniers’ gripes in perspective, his remuneration equals no more than the amount paid by 210 dog-owning residents.

Moreland’s aesthetes are on solid ground in helping to underwrite the artist’s current sabbatical in Turkey, their wisdom supported by the Phage, which examined Craker’s oeuvre some time ago and came away impressed.

When he was a student, Craker was working through issues about coming out as gay - "acknowledging that", he says, "telling people that". He used the art process and art history to help him. "Images of family and expectations of manhood and masculinity," he says. "I started to use text with images. I would have an image of my family, for example, and then text that commented on the family structure or maybe that wasn't connected. I had a series of images of a light bulb and a tea cup and an apple and an egg, finely painted on little coloured canvas with text stating 'one of these images is not like the other'. So the idea was you can't tell by looking whether someone is like you or not and we are all different in some way."

A man of the (rate-paying) people, Craker’s interest in painting only words in english demonstrates the common touch.

I would feel pretentious using Latin or French,” he said.


  1. "Mr Craker ... said he wanted to create confusion about "what's art and what's function - to make people think about something that we would see and not look at."
    Have the Council write him a $7000 cheque and the Mayor scribble "Void" across it; let Timmy contemplate the confusion implied.