Daphne Wright

The Bulls

Swansea Museum

Daphne Wright’s work ‘The Bulls’ was inspired by the trophy head of a buffalo shot on safari which is in the Victorian collection of Swansea Museum. Wright has photographed domestic bulls which are kept for reproduction purposes on small farms. Usually only one bull of this kind is kept on each farm and it is afforded a certain status, often being paraded and displayed and usually given a pet name. The artist has photographed only the heads and eyes of these ‘pets’, capturing the underlying menace of an animal that is fundamentally unpredictable and untrustworthy.

In making these works, Wright has used an obsolete printing method. The resulting prints resemble many of the black & white photographs in the museum’s collection. Although the objects in the Victorian collection seem benignly presented and displayed, many of the exhibits and curiosities have an underlying sense of unease. ‘The Bulls’ are hung in the stairwell of Swansea Museum in a way that alludes to the presentation of the hunting trophies from the collection.

Wright’s work can be read not just in the context of the museum but also within the wider context of agriculture and the debates associated with it at the present time.