Several years ago, while I was working on a photographic project exploring the subject of “meat” and butchery, I was introduced to Gus, the proprietor of the Five Dock Meat Market. Graciously Gus not only allowed me to organise a photographic shoot at his premises, but he also became an integral part of my series by agreeing to play the role of the gourmet butcher, a role for which he was more than qualified. With a sense of humour, he lent an air of professional authenticity to my surreal imagery.
Happily some of the resulting photographs from the shoot reached critical acclaim – one was selected as a finalist in the 2013 Head On Portrait Prize and another was a finalist in the Blake Prize, a national competition for spiritual and religious art.
Nine years on, I visited Five Dock and dropped in to say hi to Gus. He greeted me with the warmest of Italian welcomes. I even bought a whole rabbit to cook later at home based on a traditional Maltese recipe.