Am I Demon, 2012


Highly Commended

Oil on linen, 153x122cm

Since 1996 the Tasmanian Devil,Sarcophilus harrisii, has been suffering the effects of Devil facial tumour disease. The tumours form around the face and mouth, causing the Devil to starve. This painting depicts a Devil in the later stages of the disease. Mouth agape and with weeping wound; eyes wide with terror. Originally I had intended to paint the body and legs, but upon reaching this stage in the painting, I could see that more paint would only detract from the image. At the time of painting the Devil, I had just had a potential skin cancer removed from my own face, and I think this added to the sense of anxiety in the finished work. In my case the removed tissue was benign.

by Paul Ryan