The Watchers: Drought, Deluge & Inferno

poussin the deluge copy 3
3 watcher 1 copy
Bellini Agony in the Garden 2 remade 72 dpi
Bosch_-_Haywain_Triptych final 72 dpi copy
Bellini_-_Allegoria_sacra framed 72 dpi copy
MEMBERGER, Kaspar the Elder 72 dpi v2 ed copy 2
Bosch final last judgement - fire copy
4 watcher Drought copy
poussin the deluge copy 3

Drawing on 15 –17 Century religious painting of flood, fire and desert these photomontages reflect new climate realities. European old masters imagined and interpreted landscapes they had never seen and within centuries we have made them a reality. The four enigmatic children from Bellini’s Sacred Allegory (c 1490 to 1500) populate the series, further unsettling these visions of the future.

EXHIBITED: Edge of Elsewhere, Photo 2024, Melbourne International Festival of Photography (2024).at Glen Eira Gallery, Melbourne. Curated by Diana Soumilas and the Contemporary Collective .

On Message: Environmental Prints and Posters 1978—2023, at Wagga Regional Gallery, New South Wales, 2023. Curated by Lee-Anne Hall.

The Grandmasters I

whole shot 72
AO frame blind morrison 72
climate hang copy 72
brueghel morrriso 72
brueghel taylor framed 72
barnaby joyce schenk 72
ship of foools framed 2up 72
baffoon fr 72
problems with women 72
lucretia- fragonard - big march 72
morrison porter rembrandt. framed 72
Lucretia- march 72dpi
The Death of Lucretia 2 - 72
covid wall - 72
«Portrait d'une jeune femme avec un rosaire», huile sur bois (
«Portrait d'une jeune femme avec un rosaire», huile sur bois (
colbeck new frame
not a race fr - 72
morrison 99% frame fr 72
Ao frydenberg and bosch frame 72
andrews biloela fr 72
andrews Dutton night watch
pork barrel
wyatt morrison_Duet 72
scott hell 72

Exhibition, pasteup: 31 Ferrars Place, South Melbourne.

The Grandmaster series reanimates the historical, allegorical and mythical themes of Old Masters paintings by combining them with choice comments made by our political leaders. 

Shiels started her ‘Covid sanity project’ in 2020 and during lockdown posted her digital collages on social media. More recently selected works have had public outings as pasteups on hoardings in inner city Melbourne.

Hung like a salon in a state art gallery, the latest called ‘Six Months in Politics is a Long Time’ is a collection of prints made from January to July this year. Addressing themes such as climate change, women’s issues, Covid, refugee issues, these political parodies aim to make the politics of the day memorable.

In a time of extreme volatility and flux, it can be a slog to keep up with politics, as we get lost in the fog of reporting, analysis, and opinion. No one can be blamed for tuning out. These digital collages capture the values and decisions of our political leaders on critical issues like climate change, Covid, sexual violence against women and gender equality. The Grandmasters has been conceived to visually present these key events in a new context. The actions or inactions of this government will shape how we live in the future and like the grand narratives of history, we will look back and judge them.

The Grandmasters: Lockdown 2020

detail hang
morrison aenius frame72
El_Tres_de_Mayo,_Goya,_Dan web
trump framed rev 72
The Tooth Extractor dutton web
the hang
FRydenberg Carravagio 72 fr
potato eaters web
taylor 72
Abbott gericault fr 72
pompeo robo debt trio cropped LANDSCAPE frame
kronos saturn Rubens - Tehan web copy
Massy_tax_collectors insta
the-plague-at-ashod 72
barnaby with text web
Rubens_Massacre_of_the_Innocents_trump 72_2
wide shot
  1. Scott Morrison – Apologies to Pompeo Bartoni, Aeneas fleeing Troy, (We are all Melburnians)..
  2. Daniel Andrews – Apologies to Goya, El Tres de Mayo.
  3. Donald Trump – Apologies to Rembrandt, Anatomy Lesson.
  4. Wall of Shame – Moor St, Fitzroy.
  5. Peter Dutton – to Apologies to Theodoor Rombauts, The Quack Tooth Puller.
  6. Josh Frydenberg – Apologies to Caravaggio, The Cardsharps.
  7. Mathias Cormann – Apologies to van Gogh, The Potato Eaters.
  8. Scott Morrison – Apologies to Quentin Massys, The Moneychanger.
  9. Angus Taylor – Apologies to Verrio, Cyclops Working at Vulcan’s Forge.
  10. Tony Abbott – Apologies to Gericault, The Raft of the Medusa.
  11. Robodebt trio, Scott Morrison, Alan Tudge and Stuart Roberts, Apologies to Quentin Massys.
  12. Josh Frydenberg – Apologies to Poussin, The Plague of Ashdod.
  13. Dan Tehan – Apologies to Rubens, Saturn Devouring His Son.
  14. Donald Trump – Apologies to Rubens, The Massacre of the Innocents.
  15. Alan Tudge, Stuart Roberts and Robodebt, Apologies to Quentin Massys, Tax Collectors.
  16. Wall of Shame – Moor St, Fitzroy.

©2024 Julie Shiels