born Chile 1946; arrived Australia 1972; lives and works in Melbourne
A bush burial 2000
gouache, pencil, enamel and collage on paper
Geelong Gallery, Gift of the artist, 2002
© Juan Davila, Courtesy Kalli Rolfe Contemporary Art
Photographer: George Stawicki
In this mixed media composition, we see what lies on the other side of the mirror in Davila’s painting A bush burial. Here, the exchange between the customs officer and Juanita is seen from a different vantage point, while in the foreground a naked woman sits beside a pool of water. Staring intently into the pool’s watery depths, she evokes the figure of the grieving woman in McCubbin’s original painting.
In contrast to the optimism and potential of the sunlit city that appears in Davila’s painting, here a volcano smokes ominously in the distance. A barbed wire fence separates the woman from the potential danger of the active volcano, and the threat of the ‘other’ that Juanita symbolises.