The deceitful impressions propagated by those who wilfully exploit animals for entertainment and capital gain is at the heart of Monkey business, Claude Jones’s latest body of poignant and provocative works which expose man’s duplicitous treatment of animals.
By perversely transposing animals as both perpetrators and victims in her images she focuses on man’s double standards. The irony is that animals do not drug, cage and torture one another, train others to fight, race, perform tricks or slaughter en masse. Nor do they subscribe to the belief that circus animals take pleasure in performing, that greyhounds and horses enjoy racing, and that hunting is a “sport”. The pursuits of the huntin’, shootin’ and fishin’ sector for whom animals are fair game, and the spoils destined as wall trophies or even novelty golf club cover s are pilloried in works like the large canvas, Cultural pursuit.
The artist employs humour, soft colours and decorative elements that belie the sinister narrative content of the works in the same way that the sordid underbelly of ‘legitimate’ mistreatment and exploitation of animals for food and entertainment is repressed and sugar-coated.
Claude Jones’ works are held in the collections of the AGNSW and Artbank and international public and private collections.