Hayley Arjona, Rock n Roll Redneck

arjona_hayley_rock_n_roll_r

 

Dates: 3-31 May, opening Saturday 3 May 3 pm.

The works in this exhibition are large oil paintings, with bright colours and comic motif, they are irreverent displays of affection, critique and parody of Australian culture.

Hayley is exposing the elements of Australian culture and the environment which weigh most heavily upon our sense of identity. Some elements of our culture we may not be so proud of, idiosyncrasies, colloquialisms, discrimination and old values, perhaps thought lost or left behind, are I believe, still flourishing especially in the rural heart of this country.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Rednecks are characters plucked from the pages of Hayley’s sketch books and are based on observations of people around her. They too are based on jokes or Aussie slang, or taken from the lyrics of Aussie garage punk songs. Rock ‘n’ Roll Rednecks speak of uneasy relationships between subject and form and an awkward affiliation with Australian culture there on show.
As Hayley states: “My Grotesque and exaggerated characters and abundant use of colour serve to make light of an undercurrent of darkness through the work, a darkness I believe inherent in our collective Australian psyche. Things too unbearable to consider without humour and satire. Themes of degradation, within our society of people and the environment, I treat with the same regard and wit as some kind of psychedelic Pickering calendar. For example, over-sized breasts and udders in the paintings speak of sexual objectification, the commercialisation of motherhood and consumerist practices, but, at the same time are rendered with such formal exuberance so as to show up my own flawed position in the critique. This kind of sensibility runs through all my paintings and indeed reflects my life beyond the canvas. Constantly in a state of “Love and Hate,” this is Australia seen through the eyes of a Rock ‘n’ Roll Redneck.”