Grant Lingard

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1961, d.1995

Ball Boy (Anatomical Study)

  • 1993
  • Plastic bucket and cardboard
  • Gift of the estates of Grant Lingard and Peter Lanini, 1998
  • 180 x 400mm
  • 99/41.1-9

When Grant Lingard was growing up there were no kicking tees in rugby – someone had to run out with a bucket of sand for the goal kicker to angle the rugby ball upon. The ball boy’s bucket was a symbol of shame, carried by someone relegated to the side-lines of the game, never really part of the team. Here, rising up from the bucket in a pitiless litany are the kinds of bullying taunts a non-sporty outsider could expect to have directed his way: ‘fumble fingers’, ‘lard arse’, ‘two left feet’ and worse.

(Perilous: Unheard Stories from the Collection, 6 August 2022- )

Exhibition History

earlier labels about this work
  • This is one of a group of works Grant Lingard created for an exhibition called ‘Smells Like Team Spirit’, which investigated two seemingly incongruous themes – rugby and gay culture. All made playful but poignant comments on the reality of growing up different in a macho and sports-obsessed society.

    Lingard often took objects away from their everyday function and reassigned them to a new context, as a work of art. In this way, his works encourage us to see things from a new perspective. Lingard was one of few New Zealand artists to assert his homosexuality through his art.

    Lingard was born in Blackball, on the West Coast of the South Island. He studied at the University of Canterbury, graduating in 1984, and moved to Sydney in 1989. Lingard participated in solo and group exhibitions in both New Zealand and Australia until his death in Sydney.