Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1961, d.1995
- Purchased, 1996
Location: South Gallery
When first made, these boots were pure white. Grant Lingard was referencing the neo-Nazis that stomped around Ōtautahi Christchurch in their white-supremacist uniform of shaved heads and Doc Marten boots. As with the Sunlight soap rugby boots across the room, his choice of material was pointed. Knight’s Castile is a delicate white soap, a brand known at the time for its tender ‘mother and baby’ advertisements – a world away from the tough image the average skinhead wanted to project.
(Perilous: Unheard Stories from the Collection, 6 August 2022- )
Flag and Boots makes playful but poignant comments about the homosexual experience within New Zealand society. Stitched together from Jockey Y-Fronts, the flag defies the enforced invisibility of gay culture. Its unrelenting whiteness is suggestive of society’s intolerance of variation. The ‘bovver-boy’ boots are made of scented white soap. Evident in Grant Lingard’s work are elements of Dadaism, in which found objects are taken from their everyday function and reassigned to a new context as a work of art. Lingard worked with Symbolism, both abstract and figurative, with a political and personal narrative. He was one of the few New Zealand artists who asserted his ‘difference’, i.e. his homosexuality, through his art practice. Lingard was born in Blackball, on the West Coast of the South Island. He studied at the University of Canterbury, graduating in 1984. He moved to Sydney in 1989. Lingard participated in solo and group exhibitions in both New Zealand and Australia until his death in Sydney.
(Opening hang, May 2003. Two works by Grant Lingard, 'Flag' and 'Boots' were then considered one work. Later research has shown that they are two separate works that can be shown together, as they were here)