Collection Online

Following the blind leading the blind

synthetic polymer and enamel paint on wood
144.6 × 142.6 × 29.8 cm
Accession Number
Contemporary Art
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 1999
© Janet Burchill/Licensed by VISCOPY, Australia
Gallery location
Gallery 11
Level 2, NGV Australia
Janet Burchill references the sculpture The blind leading the blind, 1941–48, by American artist Louise Bourgeois, in this work. In Bourgeois’s sculpture, a double row of slender legs evokes traumatic childhood memories of events she witnessed from beneath the family dining table. In Burchill’s version, Bourgeois’s tapered legs are replaced with upturned picket-fence palings – a suburban ‘readymade’ material. Made upon Burchill’s return to Australia after spending six years living in Berlin, this work can be understood as a critical comment about cultural complacency and the lack of originality the artist felt characterised the Australian art world at the time.