- Other Title
- Stations of the Cross, Jesus falls for the second time: Easter rabbit cross; Rabbit run dog bit his leg; Bandaged in the burrow (triptych)
- Media category
- Materials used
- triptych: watercolour, ink and coffee wash on paper
87.6 x 205.5 cm overall
a - left panel, 76 x 57.3 cm, 87.6 x 68.5 x 3 cm frame
b - middle panel, 76 x 56.5 cm, 87.6 x 68.5 x 3.0 cm frame
c - right Panel, 76 x 56.5 cm, 87.6 x 68.5 x 3.0 cm frame
- Purchased with funds provided by the Australian Prints, Drawings and Watercolours Collection Benefactors 2021
- Isaac Wakil Gallery
- Accession number
- © Mathew Calandra
- Sir John Sulman Prize
- - 2021
- Artist information
Works in the collection
Mathew Calandra’s exceptional figurative drawings tell complex narratives that interweave the everyday with the fantastical. Working mainly in etching, drawing and gouache, Calandra’s linear style is unmistakable. Precise yet sinuous lines define his compositions, where forms are assertively outlined in pen.
References to mythology and horror stories often appear in his scenes, with Freddy Krueger being a recurring character in his early paintings while other works have reinterpreted historical scenes from The Crusades and conjured with the fantastical worlds contained within the iconic Lady in the Unicorn tapestries. In recent work, people from Calandra’s daily life have entered the frame, often merged with or appearing alongside folkloric figures.
This triptych reimagines the scene from the Christian crucifixion story where Jesus falls for the second time while carrying the crucifix. In Calandra’s retelling, the character of the bunny becomes an allegory inserted into the story. Describing the scene in his own words, Calandra notes:
‘There was an Easter bunny carrying a cross. A big bad dog bit the rabbit’s leg. The bunny got a little bandage in the tree home. The bunny was wounded but recovered and became alive again.’ – Mathew Calandra 2021
Here, struggle and recovery are intertwined in a work that serves as both a cinematic storyboard and a moving study of pathos. Calandra’s characters contain complexities and his narratives carry nuance. This is only amplified by the textual annotations that appear in the work. Following a residency with Red Room Poetry, working with the award winning poet Dr Gareth Jenkins, Calandra has begun to write and integrate poems into his compositions to augment the lyrical nature of the scenes themselves. Calandra creates other worlds. For not only are his drawings fantastical but his tight linework and careful washes of colour are themselves transformative.
This work was a finalist in the Sulman Prize 2021.