Jonathan Comerford: SA Circus (1987-88)
This is one of the last large-format etchings Comerford produced, and it depicts a circus scene. It has a circus ring with a circus master patrolling the perimeter on the left hand side of the work, with wagon wheels. Inside the ring is the victim or person who is being tortured or questioned. He has a rectangular target head. He shares the ring with crocodile clips, used for torture. They appear to be like lions or tigers, waiting on boxes for their turn to perform. The wooden pillars around the ring are dripping with black tar, which is a play on the expression "a touch of the tar brush." The audience in the background symbolises South African society. The crowd is baying, shouting and screaming, and yet they are still passively watching the circus performance unravel, doing nothing about it.