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The Weekend Australian - Review - - Visual Arts - Bron­wyn Wat­son

Arlo Mount­ford yearns for a pre-in­dus­trial era, a time be­fore Twit­ter, In­sta­gram, mo­bile phones and the in­ter­net, when life was dic­tated by the sea­sons and peo­ple worked in the fields.

Given Mount­ford’s nos­tal­gia, it is not sur­pris­ing he is drawn to the work of Pi­eter Bruegel the El­der, the 16th-cen­tury artist nick­named “peas­ant Bruegel” who pow­er­fully cap­tured the ac­tiv­i­ties of ev­ery­day life.

In homage to the Flem­ish master, Mount- ford has pro­duced his own dis­tinc­tive and en­tirely con­tem­po­rary in­ter­pre­ta­tion of some of Bruegel’s most fa­mous works, such as The Hun­ters in the Snow (1565), The Har­vesters (1565) and

Land­scape with the Fall of Icarus (c. 1558). Mount­ford’s re­worked ver­sion, ti­tled The

Folly, con­sists of three pan­els and uses an an­i­ma­tion pro­gram to set in mo­tion the scenes in the Bruegel paint­ings, such as skaters on a frozen lake, hun­ters and their dogs trudg­ing through the snow, and peasants stok­ing a fire. A sound­track leads the viewer’s at­ten­tion from one panel to the next.

The Folly is part of the Queens­land Art Gallery col­lec­tion and I’m shown the work in Bris­bane by Sally Foster, as­sis­tant cu­ra­tor of in­ter­na­tional art (pre 1975), and Peter McKay, cu­ra­tor of con­tem­po­rary Aus­tralian art.

We stand be­fore the work in the re­stored spa­ces of the gallery’s Philip Ba­con Gal­leries,

Three-chan­nel dig­i­tal an­i­ma­tion with four-chan­nel au­dio, nine min­utes

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