Oil on canvas
106.7 x 137.2cm
‘Popped Off is inspired by the dark moral content of a well-known short story by Shirley Jackson, “The Lottery”, in which the inhabitants of a New England town engage in a deadly annual rite of scapegoating: the selection of a sacrificial victim by means of a public sweepstake. Neel combined her interest in this American parable with her own experiences growing up in Vermont to explore the human tendency toward ritual violence in the context of nature.
Cornered, a wild animal has run up a tree only to be fired upon by its human trackers. Its bloody, mangled carcass is caught in the moment of destruction, a casualty of a deep-seated rural tradition.’ Jasper Sharp