Digital photographic portraits
2012 - 2014
These portraits were captured over a period of three years I spent working at an abattoir.
I staged a number of photo shoots by setting up a colourful photo studio in the Kill Floor Tea Room and inviting my workmates to pose for me during our ‘smoko’ and lunch breaks.
On 28 January 2014, I conducted photo shoot with the workers at an abattoir in Colac, Victoria. The workers were invited to have their portraits taken wearing their work uniforms, within a colourful photo studio set up inside a lunch-break room at the factory. I then framed the portraits together with each worker’s name and job title etched onto golden labels.
The framed portraits now hang on display in the room where meetings are conducted between the factory managers and clients.
VIDEO: Isaac Carné
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
This series of photographs were captured over a period of three years I spent working at an abattoir.
I would take home carcasses and cuts of meat from work and aesthetically arrange them among plastic flowers, in reference to the historical tradition of still life painting.
Next Wave Festival
16 April - 11 May 2014
‘WE ♥ ABATTOIR’ was an outdoor exhibition that displayed colourful portraits of abattoir workers in public sites around Melbourne and Colac, Victoria.
This project was commissioned by Next Wave’s Kickstart program for presentation in the 2014 Next Wave Festival.
2012 - 2014
This series depicts my hands posing and holding different cuts of meat, to illustrate some of the jobs I did working at the abattoir.
Audio recording, 2013
Captured on my iPhone one day at work in a pig abattoir, this audio recording documents the dualistic sounds that occur regularly on the Kill Floor.
Popular love songs are played through radio loudspeakers, contrasting against the sound of pigs being slaughtered in the distance.
Tattoo by @fabz_art
I got my artwork “Chitterlings” tattooed on my upper arm.
‘Chitterling’ is a part of a pig that connects its lower intestinal tract to the outer anus. My first job while working at an abattoir was to clean excrement from Chitterlings with a high-powered tap.
I took a photo of my hands posing with cuts of Chitterling and I’ve been quite obsessed with the image ever since. Getting this tattoo has helped me cope with my unrelenting fascination with the Chitterling phenomenon and my adoration of this image. I’ve also had it printed onto t-shirts.
Oil on canvas, 2014
I painted this portrait of Terry, the abattoir cleaner.
I originally painted it as a gift for the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union art collection. However, it turned out Terry wasn’t a union member, so my gift wasn’t accepted, whoops.
The painting is now back in Terry’s custody, where it is being well loved and appreciated.
Digital video, 2014
Mi Goreng is a cheap and easy to cook a snack that is popular in the abattoir lunch break room.
During my three years working at the abattoir, I would often admire the bins full of empty Mi Goreng packets at the end of the day.
These video stills highlight each step of cooking Mi Goreng.
The ‘Chitterling’ is a part of a pig that connects its lower intestinal tract to the outer anus. My first job while working at an abattoir was to clean excrement from Chitterlings with a high-powered tap.
I took photos of my hands posing with cuts of Chitterling and had them printed onto a t-shirt. I continue to wear this t-shirt throughout daily activities: while doing the shopping; attending social events; and traveling on public transport, in order to bring a hidden and mostly unknown task of industrial labour into public spaces.
Digital video, 2013
Chicken cutters at a Mumbai meat market are invited to decorate their shop with accessories from a local photo studio. As the chickens are slaughtered, a collaboration forms between the shop keepers.
Inspired by framed portraits of the family on display in my Grandmother’s home, I staged a self portrait wearing my abattoir uniform in a similar style.
Nana framed my new portrait and keeps it on display in her living room.