ThimBULL meets her older brothers, BAM and Bullseye!
Our Theme: Cottonopoly
Monopoly is an iconic game which explores the purchase and development of property. Through this game we have been able to explore aspects of the cotton industry and sustainable practices in cotton farming, processing and the fashion industry. Our aim is to allow audiences to connect with memories of this game, allowing them to associate that with the aspects of the cotton industry and the ideas we have explored.
The elements of the game we have used to express our ideas include:
- The modification of the game’s name from Monopoly to Cottonopoly to directly associate the game with the cotton industry.
- The property names, which reflect the different stages of cotton production, from the farms (beginning with small holdings and growing to large corporate properties), through the ginning (with properties named after gins found in both NSW and QLD), to cotton promotion boards (such as Cotton Australia), and ending with Australian design companies. All of the farm names are farms of the students or local properties.
- Traditionally, Monopoly features railway stations. We have replaced these with transport hubs for trucks, ports, railway and air freight, reflecting the methods of transport of cotton.
- Chance and Community Chest cards are vital in telling the story of the work. Chance cards are used to reflect uncontrollable events that occur which influence the productivity of the industry, from environmental occurrences such as locust outbreaks, to governmental decisions such as raising energy costs. Community Chest cards reflect the opportunities we have to contribute to the development of sustainable and environmentally friendly practices within the cotton industry.
- The board divides the artwork into sections that reflect the growing, harvest, transport and ginning of cotton before moving on to fashion design and production, ending with models on a catwalk.
- The farming side of the work is dominated by the soothing and calm colours of the earth (browns), the plants (greens) the cotton flowers (white and pink), the sky (blues) and the cotton itself (white). These colours, while connecting with nature and the growth of cotton also create a peaceful, yet productive space.
- The rump of the cow reflects the transportation of the cotton and the ginning process, with bales of cotton on the back of a truck and across the top of the cow moving towards the gin, where the cleaning of the cotton occurs. This section of the work also allows us to explore the uses of cotton by-products, which include explosives, x-ray film, stock feed and pharmaceuticals. Solar panels also feature throughout this area and move through the fashion side of the board indicating the use of renewable energy in the industry.
- The fashion side of the work reflects the fast paced and exciting world of fashion design, moving through the cotton passing through a sewing machine and moving on to the catwalk. This area features a range of tools associated with the fashion industry including a dress maker’s model, tape measures, patterns, scissors, measuring tapes and cotton reels. These lead to the fashion parade which takes place in front of a darkened city background, with the school’s cotton slogan: “Get comfy with cotton” picked out as lights against the city skyline. The models in this parade are deliberately featureless, focussing the audience on the clothing rather than the people.
- Money is a major part of the game of Monopoly. We have used this feature in our artwork to illustrate the currencies of countries to which we export cotton, such as Japan, India and France. There is more money on the fashion side of the board, again building the sense of excitement that is associated with this industry.
- We have painted traditional Monopoly pieces on the game board, drawing attention to the thimble as a key piece, reflected in its repetition on the cow’s horns. The thimble again connects to sewing, creating another link to the theme of cotton. This also provides the name for the work, “ThimBULL”.
- Our cow’s hooves are painted gold, connecting to our town and its history as a goldmining centre while also connecting with the wealth of the agricultural industry. This has become a trademark element of THLHS works in the Archibull competition, as all of our previous entries have had the same feature.