TONEE MESSIAH
BAD SEED
18 FEBRUARY – 14 MARCH 2015

TONEE MESSIAH
A Thorn To Bring Down An Army 2015
oil on linen
106 × 91 cm

TONEE MESSIAH
Bad Seeds Grow Naturally 2014
oil on linen
121 × 101 cm

TONEE MESSIAH
Dichotomy 2014
oil on linen
51 × 46 cm

TONEE MESSIAH
Opposites Collide 2015
oil on linen
71 × 66 cm

TONEE MESSIAH
Punch Line 2014
oil on linen
121 × 101 cm

TONEE MESSIAH
Rock and Bait 2015
collage, watercolour, pencil and gouache on cotton rag
72 × 57 cm

TONEE MESSIAH
Swamp Bed 2014
oil on cotton rag
38 × 28.5 cm

TONEE MESSIAH
Gutless Tooth 2014
ink, gouache and pencil on cotton rag
38 ×28.5 cm

TONEE MESSIAH
Pearl Diving 2015
mixed media on cotton rag
38 × 28.5 cm

TONEE MESSIAH
Repetitious Change 2014
oil on linen
106 × 91 cm

TONEE MESSIAH
Swamp Bed 2 2014
oil on cotton rag
38 × 28.5 cm


From birth our primary focus is to gain control of the functions of our body; we make connections between the desire to walk and motions needed to achieve it, we long to communicate so we learn to speak. Every milestone is marked by harnessing a new function of the body. As we grow our focus shifts to the mental and emotional development of becoming an adult, and for most of us, we rest in the confidence that the physical function of our body is secure and on track. What happens when this confidence betrays us and our body begins to operate outside the realms of our control?
Bad Seed is a collection of works that address the fears and anxieties in realising the independent chaos that exists beneath the skin. As our cells age and transform the pure self-realising control we possess over the machine that carries us comes into question. These works address the alienation and terror that spreads as we come to terms with losing control of our body’s destiny.
The painting process utilised to produce this body of work brings to light our own personal process of striving for control and order. With every step and mark we are autonomously constructing our destiny; what happens when we come to realise that the vehicles we use to fulfil this have an independent natural order that can unknowingly betray us. Perhaps the process of ageing is to remind us that we are at the mercy of nature’s will.
– Tonee Messiah
Chaos was the law of nature; Order was the dream of man – Henry Adams

Tonee Messiah is an honours graduate of Sydney College of the Arts (2004) whom Pulizer Prize winning critic, Sebastian Smee (The Boston Globe, then The Australian), in 2007 identified as one of the nations most interesting young artists. Her work is held in the Monash University Museum of Art as well as in numerous corporate and private collections.