These two works by Vanessa Arnold and Luke Parnell are clever ruminations on pop-culture and Northwest Coast Art and Art Exhibitions, Art History, and oh so much more. What is not to like when you are confronted by Cinderella yielding a scythe and a my little pony drummer? 

Luke Parnell
I have many artist friends and my practice has little in common with all of them.  The contemporary in my practice is to contemporary for my NWC friends and the NWC in my practice is too NWC for my contemporary friends.  However, Beat Nation was a little outside my normal mode of creation.  It references popular culture and NWC art history and critical theory.  I have only one friend who's practice would be in conversation with this artwork, Vanessa Arnold.   Her work is witty and dense, it is ripe with references to popular culture both mainstream and obscure. References to art history and critical theory can also be found in her mark making and sculpture.

Beat Nation is part of a series of eight paintings exploring the exhibition history of Northern Northwest Coast (NWC) Aboriginal art.  The eight works in this series and their respective exhibitions are; The Arts of the Raven, The Legacy, Robes of Power, Down from the Shimmering Sky, The Transforming Image, Raven Traveling, Challenging Traditions and Beat Nation. Each artwork in the series appropriates heavily from the exhibition that it explores. The creation and methodology behind this series of paintings enables the work to explore notions of appropriation, authenticity and what is considered sacrosanct.

Luke Parnell, Beat Nation, 2013

Vanessa Arnold 
My artwork is rooted in concept, and spans across media, encompassing mixed media sculpture, drawing, photography, animation, interactive public art, and social media. I am drawn to multiple materials and the aesthetic and cultural significance they can convey. I believe strongly in the handmade, the use of craft, and the ability to see the artist’s hand in the work. I frequently employ labour intensive methods of creating, and work with a painstaking attention to detail. I also enjoy working with shop technologies, woodworking and metalworking. The themes and concepts I explore are drawn from a combination of personal experience and critical theory. My work currently engages with feminism, pop culture, dark humour, analytic philosophy and the philosophy of language, obfuscation, obsolescence, military code, and failure.

Vanessa Arnold, Cinderella on the Pale Horse, 2014