Above: this year's theme for the Illustrators Australia 9 x 5 Exhibition is The Year of the Rat. I had previously been thinking of making an artwork showing an innocent little lab rat cut open to display a very beautiful and glamorous version of his innards. (Perhaps it would be a way to restore his dignity.) At the time it was influenced by a a piece by Del Kathryn Barton which I had seen at Linden. It was a stuffed bird made of fabric, with disarmingly human-like eyes and it was covered in hundreds of old buttons. I liked how the 'real' eyes played against the crafty notions. When I received my annual piece of plywood and the accompanying theme and entry form, I thought: here's my chance. I like innards you see. I think they are rather beautiful, especially the versions that you find illustrated in mid century school books. But real ones are pretty as well.
Ha! As I wrote that I just thought of a title: Many Treasures Rat.