Monday 12 February to Sunday 11 March 2018
Stockmen have resided on the Australian landscape, rearing the livestock they’re named after since the early 1800s. Revered for their knowledge of the land and their stock, a stockman is someone who cares for livestock on rural properties, doing anything from mustering, keeping track of or looking after the basic health of a herd cattle or sheep. In Australia, there has been much cultural interest in the figure of the stockman and it has become an archetype of nationalism and masculinity.
Re-evaluating the milieu of stockmen today is painter Bryce Anderson. Drawing upon reflections of regional Australia, his series Rodeo Role Play acts as an interrogation of the transition of Australian ‘stockmen’ into Americanised ‘cowboys’ through the first appearances of rodeo in Australia.
Anderson’s ongoing series (begun in 2016) is the result of visits to rural New South Wales rodeos and the gathering of kitsch rodeo and ‘outback’ images from magazines and books published since the 1950s. The key figure captured within the Rodeo Role Play works is that of the cowboy in to whom the stockman transitioned with the rise of rodeo.