Artwork Detail

The Correction
Paramount Award winner, Wallace Art Awards 2009.

The Correction is the first work of photography to win the Wallace Paramount Award, and the first winner to have been made in named collaboration. While the artists are listed as Williams and Jowsey, the collaboration is also known as F4, which comprises Marcus Williams and Susan Jowsey as well as their children, Jesse and Mercy.

This collective authorship is not only the natural place to begin an introduction to this work, it also constitutes an important part of the work itself, which continues well beyond the final image.

Williams and Jowsey have described their F4 collaboration as an exploration of propositions in apprehension of the world as these are put forward by their two children in play. As these propositions are developed, they become the armature of the F4 collaboration. F4 is a deliberate erasure of those personal or even cultural memories which inform and ultimately define a typical family unit. The work created by the collective is thus presented as if dependant on the supplanted values and logic of those developed propositions – the title page of the family photo album has a caption which reads: ‘This is not a pipe’, in reference to the work The Treachery of Images (1928-29) by Magritte.

Like Magritte’s touchstone statement the aberrant proposition is productive in that it generates a play of competing meaning through the associated images. Propositions can be named and thereby describe a theme for a particular image or suite of images: ‘The Correction’ is the proposition we are faced with for this particular work – and it is immediately ambiguous, which of course is a way of continuing the exploration into the space of the viewer, in a replication of the play which spawned the work. Expected familial power relations seem reversed: the child’s patience seems tested somehow, her knowing stare meets our own while the father looks down and across solemnly, even as his stature and position is undercut by the placement of a deconstructed soft toy on his head. The idea is that we test our own memory and experience by importing such meanings.

Catalogue text:
Published on the occasion of the Twenty Wallace Art Awards Paramount Winners Exhibition,14 February to 22 April 2012 at The Pah Homestead, TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre and 2 August to 30 September 2012 at the Wallace Gallery Morrinsville.
Photographic diptych, framed.
Man’s panel – 600 x 600mm
Girl's panel – 440 x 440mm
Accession date
09 Feb 2010
Accession number

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