Referencing Damien Hirst’s fly paintings and vitrines A Hundred Years (1990) and A Thousand Years (1990), this work reimagines and reinterprets these works with a touch of Australian self-deprecating humour.
The fly is as much a symbol of nuisance as it is of Colonialism – with the ships came livestock that brought with them warm wet dung that (unlike the dry marsupial dung) served as fertile breeding ground for maggots. Along with the flies (ships) came alcohol, to build comraderie, pay convicts and bargain. These two elements have influenced Australia’s identity/ies and culture/s ever since. Fly Farm aims to document parts of these identities.
Cast in plaster and dipped in a cyanotype mixture these flies will continue to change and wither with the weather– yet as viewers photograph themselves with these flies a new species of fly, the Musca Taverna will be born, making this installation the second official fly farm in Australia.