Shadow Factories 1991

Synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 175 x 135

Signed, dated & titled [on reverse]

Private collection, Melbourne

This canvas, previously listed in this catalogue under 1989, has now been confirmed to date from 1991 – the date also inscribed on a photo in Arkley’s files, showing the artist standing in front of the painting, wearing the skull-and-crossbones shirt he wore in many other photos dating from the same period.

The ‘EATS’ sign at lower left clearly points to a connection with Untitled (Shadow Factory collage) (c.1991) [W/P], Arkley’s modified version of a reproduction of his own earlier painting Shadow Factories (1988). In fact, the relationship is so strong that the collage may be seen as a ‘working drawing’ for the present canvas.

The verso inscription incorrectly gives the size of the painting as 120 x 160 cm; the actual size was confirmed by the owner in May 2014 (along with the other details listed here, and further photos and documentation confirming the purchase in 1991).


  • Acquired by the present owner in 1991
  • Recorded as in a Melbourne private collection in NGV planning files for Arkley retrospective c.2006 (with a suggested date of 1989)