This large painting was completed in 1988 and exhibited at the South African National Festival of the Arts that same year. The work portrays the annual slaughter of dolphins by Japanese fishermen on the island of Hokkaido. Despite international condemnation, the wholesale slaughter of aquatic mammals by the Japanese fishing industry continues to this day under the guise of "scientific data gathering". This "scientific data" somehow always ends up on restaurant tables throughout Japan.
"Hodnett shocks and repels, yet one is drawn back time and time again to be seduced and energized by the sheer beauty of paint application, the mastery of space articulation, the exploitation of the expressive aspects of visual experience and artifice" - Marilyn Martin - Director, South African National Gallery, wrote of this work while attending the Festival.
The painting was donated to the Albany Museum and the City of Grahamstown, South Africa by the artist in recognition of and appreciation for the dedicated work done by the museum staff. The artist requested of then director Brian Wilmot, that the painting be hung quietly, with no accompanying pomp and ceremony, in solemn homage to the massacred mammals.
The painting now hangs in the Grand Stairwell of the Natural History section of the Albany Museum complex and serves as a stark reminder of man's continued disregard for the planet.
Signed lower right. Size: 200 cm. x 200 cm. - 79 in. x 79 in.
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