Wisps of smoke rise from an extinguished candle. A shaft of light illuminates an iridescent butterfly and a can of energy drink. A Peregrine falcon perches in front of a brightly coloured backdrop, resonating with all the poise and pop of a couture campaign. This is Paul Sloan’s latest solo exhibition entitled New Bounty.
In New Bounty, Sloan explores the themes, symbols and conventions of 16th and 17th century Flemish vanitas still life painting through the modern lens of photography. By referencing and examining this established art historical trope, laced with symbolic and moral messages, Sloan presents subtly subversive vanitas images that comment on contemporary society as much as on the vanitas inherent in making art itself.
New Bounty was exhibited at Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide, South Australia, 2014.