CONTROVERSIAL ARTIST: Bundaberg’s Gus Jones.
CONTROVERSIAL ARTIST: Bundaberg’s Gus Jones.

Bomb threat cancels controversial artist's Rockhampton show

GUS Jones' artwork is controversial to say the least.

But he never imagined he'd have to cancel his exhibition in Rockhampton after someone threatened to throw a molotov cocktail at it.

Gus' art is anti-religious and so is he.

"I do it mainly just to show the hypocrisy of the Christian church - I hate all religions," Gus said.

Gus started questioning religion when he was just 13 years old.

"It all started when I was young, we had a next door neighbour who had six kids and their seventh baby died of leukaemia," Gus said.

"I was thinking that that's not fair, why would God let a little baby come into the world with a disease like that and not give her a chance.

"That was honestly the first time I thought that this isn't right."

It was 12 months ago that Gus, from Bundaberg, decided to put his anti-religious words on to canvas.

"I've probably sold 20 pieces so far but nobody will display it so it's just through word of mouth," he said.

After speaking to other artists and friends, Gus found a business in Rockhampton that would hold his exhibition tomorrow.

But just days before his opening, Gus was threatened.

"It was through my website that someone threatened to throw a molotov cocktail at the exhibition," he said.

"The email rambled on saying 'burn in hell, your exhibition won't go ahead, I'm going to burn you out', 'I'll smash windows'," Gus said.

"You get a lot of threats like 'burn in hell' or 'I hope God strikes you down', but throwing a molotov cocktail was a bit much."

"People either love it or hate (my art), and it's funny how those who hate it want to get violent," he said.

Gus, 53, called off the exhibition because it was being held on someone else's property.

"If it was my place, I wouldn't worry about it, but someone was helping me so I couldn't take that risk," Gus said.

Threats haven't set Gus back from having an exhibition in the future.

"Threats don't worry me, it just firms up my beliefs even more," he said.

"In all religions you have radicals and that's where the problem lies."

"I won't be beaten on it; it'll be bigger and better next time."


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