Sydney, 11 Oct 2022 — 30 Oct 2022

15 Roylston Street [PO Box 282], Paddington 2021

Nursery Rhymes
- Rodney Pople

Nursery Rhymes is Rodney Pople’s first solo exhibition in three years at Australian Galleries, Sydney.
‘Rodney Pople’s iconoclastic approach exposes the hypocrisies of powerful cultural narratives. In the past his subjects have included the Catholic Church and the ANZAC legend, and in these new paintings the sacred cow jumps over the moon in a series focussed on classic British nursery rhymes.
Pople has excavated beneath the gentle reassurance of these oft-repeated rhymes, unearthing and reimagining their narratives into scenes of surreality, shock, humour and horror. The three blind mice, now brandishing the carving knife themselves, wreak their revenge on the farmer’s wife; a black sheep gleefully sinks its teeth into a young girl’s leg; and Humpty Dumpty falls towards the waiting jaws of crocodiles…
With their references to outdated kings and queens, chambers and horses, boughs and pails, nursery rhymes provide a window into the past. Their characters inhabit our minds’ eye, having been the subject of beautifully illustrated books we were read as children. We repeat them to our own children in turn, only then questioning their disconcerting, sometimes violent undertones. Images like a baby falling from a tree, a child breaking his skull, and animals being attacked are interwoven into their comforting rhythms and saccharine melodies. In Nursery Rhymes, Pople has drawn his palette from these books and children’s nurseries, employing pale blues, pastel yellows and pastoral greens to lull the viewer before swinging the sledgehammer with imagery that exposes the unsettling undercurrents of these not-so-benign rhymes.’ – Chloe Wolifson, 2022
Rodney Pople
Rodney Pople is an interdisciplinary artist that works across various mediums such as painting, photography …
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