Laurence Watts / 'Gavial Ranch', from the series Looking West, 2018
'Gavial Ranch', from the series Looking West, 2018
4-colour print on uncoated paper 140gsm
Size: 500 x 650mm
Edition of 100
Published by uneven press, 2021
Looking West, by Laurence Watts, is a photographic work that examines performative masculinity in Australian Rodeo subculture and the iconography of the Cowboy. It aims to destabilise notions of masculine identity by revealing its construction through social performance. The series is underpinned by a semi-narrative throughline of ‘searching for the cowboy’. This search finds that long after the West has been won, and the Frontier closed, the Cowboy exists as a set of visual cultural ideals through which masculinity is articulated in Rodeo sub-culture, utilising the sartorial codes of the Western hat, boots, shirt and belt buckle.