Fiona Hall

Cross Purpose, 2003
photo lithograph on Aquarelle Arches paper
61.0 x 46.0 cm
signed, dated, numbered and inscribed with title (lower edge)


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Number 40 from an edition of 60

This print represents the intersection of Britain and Australia since British colonisation. The 10 pound Australian note has a picture of Australia's first Governor - Governor Phillip. The leaf painted on the note is to scale and is from the Coolabah tree, chosen as it is the archetypal tree made famous in 'Waltzing Matilda' a part of the Australian mythology.

The English ten pound note has the leaf of an English oak tree painted to scale upon it. This plant is an indigenous English plant and is a symbol of strength and stability.

The notes have been crossed and interwoven to represent that Australia is at the crossroad in its decision to sever its ties with England to become a republic.

The print was printed by Martin King at the Australian Print Workshop as part of the second release of The Republic Unlimited Collection, published by 21C Pty Ltd.

  • Cross Purpose

Courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

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With intricate precision and a poetic sensitivity, Fiona Hall crafts sculptural and two-dimensional forms that question our relationship with nature and society. Her combination of fine craft and sharp intellectualism create layered and fascinating narratives with a visual lyricism and real tactility. The span of her career over three decades has enchanted viewers with a combination of new and found materials with extensive research and reference to history: the museum; scientific discovery; Darwin; Victorian classification; taxidermy; botany; voyages of discovery; colonisation; antiquarian books and drawings. Fiona Hall takes these patterns and signifiers of a past world and transforms them into a contemporary language of incisive wit and playfulness.

Born in Sydney and currently based in Adelaide, Fiona Hall studied painting at the National Art School from 1972 to 1975 and photography at New York’s Visual Studies Workshop from 1979 to 1982. Known initially for her photography, by 1989, Hall was celebrated for her installation work such as Paradisus Terrestris entitled (1996).

Hall represented Australia with Wrong Way Time at the Australia Pavilion in the 56th Venice Biennale, 2015. In 2013, the Heide Museum of Modern Art, Victoria held a major exhibition of Hall's work Big Game Hunting. Important solo exhibitions for Hall include Fiona Hall, Force Field, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2008) travelling to the City Gallery Wellington, New Zealand and Christchurch Art Gallery, New Zealand; Fiona Hall, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane and Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (2005) and Garden of Earthly Delights, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, National Gallery of Victoria Melbourne, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Plimsoll Gallery, Hobart, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth and Brisbane City Hall, Brisbane (1994). In 2005, Julie Ewington's monograph Fiona Hall was published by Piper Press, Sydney.