Democracy Counts

Lessons in History Vol.II – Democracy was at grahame galleries + editions, Brisbane. Democracy Counts was my contribution to the exhibition.

In  Democracy Counts, I reflect on the electoral system which makes a parliament accountable to the people. Small watercolour marks represent a vote for different parties. Each vote has been meticulously numbered in graphite pencil. The votes accumulate as the reader proceeds through the thirty-two pages of the book, until the total number is determined for each party and translated into seats in parliament. Each book in the edition has a slightly different outcome.

As I painted votes and drew numbers under them (many thousands during the production of the edition), I thought about the contribution to democracy that each person makes as they enter a voting booth and mark their electoral paper with those finely-sharpened, but rather short graphite pencils provided by the Australian Electoral Commission.

Tucked inside the back cover of Democracy Counts is a photograph I took on the streets of Paris during the 2012 French Presidential election, a comic reminder that not everyone believes in the power of the vote.