‘The artworks in this exhibition, and others like them, do not arise from the ferment of an obsessive or fixated mindset however, given their long history, one can justifiably surmise that the theme of the Tasmanian Tiger betrays extended and private aspects of the artist himself. Moynihan’s enduring and long-term artistic use of this unusual theme seems to challenge viewers to unravel his wider aims and understand his artistic motivations. Significantly, Moynihan’s artworks are about something rather than of something – in other words, they have an inherent content rather than a mere subject.
In Moynihan, anthropomorphism is adopted as a self-attenuating process, so that the Tasmanian Tiger and Tigerman images are used, not so much as artistic motifs, but as intermediary images that introduce hidden associations or personal ruminations of the artist himself, rather than make observations of the society of which he is a part.
Moynihan’s remarkable artworks are produced not as social symptoms, not as some type of private therapy, not as “interesting” diversions or obsessions, not as “variations” upon a “theme”, but as personal expeditions guided by the insightful whisperings of the “inner beast” – that psychological proxy; that transactional and undomesticated voice within.’
– Excerpts from: ‘The Art of Daniel Moynihan: Printmaking 1966 – 2016’, Art Gallery of Ballarat, 2016)
Associate Professor Ken Wach, Former Principal Research Fellow and Head of the School of Creative Arts, The University of Melbourne