Exhibitions: Unfolding Tales: Selections from the Contemporary Collection

Moffatt: Laudanum

This image belongs to the Australian artist Tracey Moffatt’s nineteen-piece Laudanum, a series of photogravures embracing a turn-of-the-twentieth-century aesthetic in costume, character, setting, and medium. The title refers to a pain reliever and sedative commonly used in the nineteenth century. The medium, a combination of photography and etching, was likewise popular during this time. The narrative depicts the highly charged relationship between a white mistress and an Aboriginal servant involved in a sensual power struggle in which their roles often reverse.