economy class to bali

2015, 156 x 156cm, mixed media on canvas Matthew McVeigh & Ida Bagus Rekah Bakurha

Collection of The Holmes à Court Collection

Economy Class to Bali was made in consultation with an artist from Ubud (Bali), trained in traditional Batuan painting.  The work I obtained from him for the background depicts “Dewata Nawa Sanga" (the 9 guardians of the compass), a story explaining that the island of gods and goddesses are symbols of one God - Sang Hyang Widi’s various powers that manifests into nine gods that anchor the harmony of the island. By painting on top of this traditionally made work (with the artist's permission), the work becomes a collage of traditional practice and Western intervention. The work explores the particular phenomenon of young Australians heading to Bali as a right of passage, their actions often taking on a religious fervor. The desire to make the work came from my own personal disgust, shame and reflections after observing other young Australians behaving in this foreign land with entitlement and a lack of respect for the culture, customs and spirit of place. In many ways the work parallels Bosh’s Garden of Delights a “erotic derangement that turns us all into voyeurs, a place filled with the intoxicating air of perfect liberty”. Economy Class to Bali similarly points to the activities of mankind that may cause the instability and even the demise of place in the absence of spirituality, ethics, morality or religion.

No items found.
Visual Artist, Designer + Educator


I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. I pay my respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past and present.
© Matt McVeigh | Website by Construkt Design