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Sydney, New South Wales, Australia born 1958


Header 2004 Place made: New South Wales, Australia
Materials & Technique: glass, plates, glass: blown, reverse-painted, enamelled

Primary Insc: engraved signature and title on edge of rim
Dimensions: 6.00 h x 58.00 w x 58.00 d cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 2005
Accession No: NGA 2005.84

Drawing on the long traditions of European painted glass, Deb Cocks’ work provides a witty narrative of Australian rural life, where vermin and pestilence co-exist with the fecundity of native flora and fauna. Reverse-painted with images of native and introduced wildlife, and edged with a patterned, painted and engraved border, Header depicts aspects of Australian fauna in surreal and whimsical juxtapositions. The muscular and sinuous hare, and the attenuated, puppet-like human figure – seemingly frozen on toadstools in an absurd balancing act – invoke Alice in Wonderland and her looking glass. This glass, however, rimmed with its sperm-like shapes and faintly poisonous colours, focuses on the real and toxic long-term drama of destruction to Australia’s natural environment caused by the introduced rabbit.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra