So you woke up Monday morning May 9th, dreading your commute down 10, 59, any part of the loop and God-forbid 290, you’re playing out your mundane workday: Janice showing you photos of kids you don’t care about, Pat squeaking in his computer chair, “the boss man” demanding work way before the originally proposed deadline and not crediting you and then– BUNNNIES? If you drove past 1600 Smith Street downtown last week then you saw the invasion of “Intrude” a whimsical installation by Australian artist Amanda Parer.
Alumna of numerous international festivals including Vivid Sydney, Ghent Light Festival, England’s Lightwaves and so many more, Amanda Parer‘s inflatable white hares are at first glance a sweet surprise, a reminder of Easter perhaps, a fun and hip backdrop for a selfie on Snapchat. But did you know rabbits are overpopulated in Australia? An ecology issue on the continent for the past 150 years, at one point rabbit population reaching 10 billion bunnies?! Eradicating the “pests” has been a hot topic of conversation for quite sometime, a subject matter Parer decided to hop on herself.
They represent the fairy tale animals from our childhood – a furry innocence, frolicking through idyllic fields. Intrude deliberately evokes this cutesy image, and a strong visual humour, to lure you into the artwork only to reveal the more serious environmental messages in the work. They are huge, the size referencing “the elephant in the room”, the problem, like our environmental impact, big but easily ignored.
The topic of Parer’s work often leads to self-reflection, nature, and the value of our world. “Fantastic Planet” again sees giant nylon inflated figurines, this time reminiscent of a human form cradling the ground below him, exploring, reminding the viewer that Mother Earth is fantastic. “Entitle” features a mama pig and piglets, still illuminated, but with intricate designs much like the lush and excessive Rococo era ornaments, citing, “In western culture the pig represents gluttony and Entitle asks us to consider why our contemporary over-indulgent lifestyle exists and at the expense of what? The piglets feeding on their mother in the artwork represents western cultures and the entrenched sense of multi-generational entitlement we have.”
Parer’s work is a subtle but thought-provoking piece on how the human world and animal life collide, more often than not for the worse. I can’t help but think of what part of nature America or just Texas alone would deem a nuisance. In light of the floods and endless construction, I’ve read often lately about the amount of deer misplaced from their once forest, hill country homes, with nowhere to go- maybe we need a Texan resident to construct some giant bunnies of our own…
For their tour stateside, the bunnies saw The Big Apple before visiting the H, next stops include Los Angeles, Denver and Memphis.
For more information on the Intrude Installation and Amanda Parer click here.