Zombie Eaters looks to celebrate strengths in recent Australian Painting. Centered on four artists – Fiona Lowry, Hamishi Farah, Juan Davila and Kate Smith – whose works are featured alongside 27 artists’ work drawn from the Murray Art Museum Albury Collection as well as public and private collections nationwide. The works date from 1960 onwards, with a focus on contemporary painting.
The four central artists approach painting as an active and enquiring medium. They display the medium’s ability to contend with artistic, political, cultural, and personal challenges. This approach continued throughout the exhibition, across a wide range of figurative approaches to painting.
There is an art joke that suggests painting is a zombie medium. It refuses to die, and like the undead zombie, walks the earth endlessly in search of brains. The joke is easily applied to the kind of painting that, over recent decades has been produced purely for decoration and which has been taken up by cynical collectors playing a market for profit. Zombie Eaters claimed this joke need not be true. The paintings within it were vital, intelligent, and thought provoking. They were made by artists invested in the social and cultural potential of art.
These painters were the Zombie Eaters. The conquerors of the undead. They ensure painting lives forever.