Anton Pulvirenti, b. 1973
Anton Pulvirenti is an Australian artist who works in a representational vein, exploring issues of memory and narrative across the disciplines of drawing, painting and photography.
Pulvirenti's work draws on his Italian heritage. Each image is a narrative telling part of a story from the artist's emotionally charged perspective. Anton’s familial view of the Italian Australian internments of World War Two calls upon the viewer to compare the Italian experience of the war to that of introduced species/pests such as the fox and the rabbit.
These drawings explore the memory of my grandfather’s internment in World War Two and its intergenerational transmission to the present day. I have used human and animal forms in the landscape to depict psychological undercurrents of the Italian internment experience. The rabbit is an introduced species that the Australian government has periodically tried to control unsuccessfully which has become a metaphor for the Italian Australian experience of internment in my work. The placement of the rabbit’s head on the human body is telling, as it suggests a being led by animal desires. Indeed, the experience of detention occupies an existence between the animal and human: one governed by the absence of normal law in which one is not fully human. It is as if by drawing one can lay past experiences to rest, or at least lessen their destructive potential in the present.
– Anton Pulvirenti