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Winner: Sir John Sulman Prize 2022

Claire Healy, Sean Cordeiro Raiko and Shuten-dōji

acrylic gouache, jute and tape on helicopter shell

159.5 x 120 x 12.6 cm

This is our rendering of the fight between the warrior Raiko and the demon Shuten-dōji. The warrior fools the demon through tricking him with his many helmets. The Japanese folk design is usually painted on kites, but we have painted this scene on the fuselage of a Vietnam War–era helicopter.

One of the ideas we were thinking about while painting was the militarisation of objects of spectacle: fireworks to bullets, kites to warplanes, social media to insurrection. Why is it that objects of wonderment become the means of our own subjugation? It seems that we are the ones being bamboozled.

Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro, 2022