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The White Rabbit @ 696

The White Rabbit at 696 is only on for one week. All of the works are pencil on paper drawings of rabbits. All the drawings were displayed in white frames on 696’s small white walled gallery with 696’s usual attention to detail and installation (including the rabbit shaped invitations). The small works are all very reasonably priced (many under $50) another advantage of pencil on paper (and red dots were going up at the opening). Realistic, romantic, cute, skeletal, dead or dissected, illustration or cartoons there is a plague of rabbit images in this exhibition.

There are many artists exhibiting in the exhibition. Pencil on paper is a traditional and fundamental technique for artists, although most of them, like Caitlin Rigby, we normally only see the painted version. There is a cartoon silhouette sequence by Pav Art, who is better known for his silk screens. The largest work in the exhibition is a detailed cartoon illustration of girl playing with her soft toy “Dead Set on Destruction” by Pierre Lloga.  There are many drawing by ‘Rabbit’ (aka Melika, yet another gallery director exhibiting) providing the backbone to the exhibition. Melika told me that she wanted to show to the artists that exhibit regularly at 696, she had learnt how to draw at art school.

All of these images of rabbits have a strange effect, the sudden and startling awareness of the presence of images of rabbits. The rabbit looms large in our cultural imagination from ancient to modern times. There are many highly significant rabbits from Brer Rabbit, Peter Rabbit, the Easter and Bugs Bunny, to going down the rabbit hole with Alice chasing the White Rabbit. There is even a Watership Downs inspired role-playing game: Bunnies & Burrows. It makes you wonder what a world where rabbits were the dominant species on earth.

All you need to know is Big Bunny is watching you. Big Bunny loves you.

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About Mark Holsworth

Writer, independent researcher and artist, Mark Holsworth is the author of the book Sculptures of Melbourne. View all posts by Mark Holsworth

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