Well, it’s Australia Day and I’m taking a well deserved rest after a morning of cleaning up mess made by the rest of my family and their friends. I decided it was time to post another of my artworks, and what better pic to post on this auspicious day than one I did many years ago called Prawns’ Revenge …after all, throwing another ‘shrimp’ on the barbie is supposed to be something typically Australian isn’t it? 😉 This sketch was inspired by one of my many childhood Xmas/New Year holidays to visit my grandparents who lived at Culburra, near Nowra on the NSW south coast.
Many years ago my grandfather, uncle and their friends and lots of other local residents would go ‘prawning’ at Lake Wollumboola (which was just down the end of their street) around this time each year when the prawns were ‘running’ (an event which only lasted for a couple of nights at the most and was dependent on the full moon I believe) and we would enjoy eating prawns for many days afterward. Contrary to the more recent advertising campaign that featured Paul Hogan offering to “slip an extra shrimp on the barbie”, back then we didn’t BBQ them, we only boiled them. (I don’t think I ate my first barbecued prawn until I was an adult.) The generally accepted practice was to bring back the huge hauls of the live saltwater beasties in large plastic tubs, eskies, clean bins or whatever was available, then transfer them all into fresh water to make them convulse and regurgitate the contents of their gut. That way the prawns would be clean inside and fit for eating and wouldn’t need to be ‘de-veined’. Then of course they’d get boiled and finally put out of their misery.
Although I enjoyed eating the prawns I felt the way they were ‘processed’ was rather unfair to the poor old prawn, hence the inspiration for my sketch. I’m not sure how accurate my rendition of decapod anatomy is but I remember I had one of the cooked prawns as my model.
The ball-point pen sketch was done on a bright fluorescent orange coloured sheet of wrapping paper but when I scanned it the bright colour somehow unbalanced and obscured the details of the drawing so I’ve decided to present the main copy above as a sepia toned sketch. If you look carefully you can see a few people desperately trying to flee the monster prawn, which will most certainly eat them if it can, in it’s quest to avenge the slow and possibly painful deaths of the millions of its shrimpy relatives caught, tortured and devoured by the greedy humans.
Funnily enough, when I removed my drawing from the album to put it in the scanner I discovered another drawing on the back which I’d forgotten I’d ever done. It’s a geometric design, also drawn on the same orange wrapping paper. It vaguely reminds me of prawn shaped strings of molecules so for want of a better title, that’s what it’s called. Unfortunately it didn’t scan very well, and a lot of the colour had leached out of the original paper onto the album page so although I’ve PhotoShopped it a bit to try to improve it, it’s still not very good, but here it is anyway. 😀