Gandhi Returns (self-portrait).
The most globally famous Indian cultural icon, Mahatma Gandhi was integral to the movement for Indian independence from the British through non-violent resistance, yet Gandhi expressed anti-black racism in South Africa and sexual behaviour towards young women. Here, returned from the dead as a salivating zombie, Gandhi is a literally imperfect figure. I’m questioning our idolisation of leaders into one-dimensional icons, how we erase their complexities and ignore their humanity, as well as thinking about the dangers of fixating on hierarchies of leadership. In this self portrait as Gandhi I’m contemplating my own known artist identity and my imperfections.
2013, felt-tip marker, coloured pencil and acrylic paint pen on Stonehenge cotton paper, 96.5 × 127 cm (38 × 50 in). Collection of the National Gallery of Victoria.