‘Shearing The Rams’, by Tom Roberts, was the inspiration for a more recent advertising campaign for ‘aussieBum’ underwear.
In the advertisement, Roberts’s muscular male shearers are still hard at work – but in their undies. The designer, Sean Ashby, described his advertisement as ‘promoting what it means to be Australian today’ – an aim very close to Roberts’s own when he made Shearing the rams.
Ashby explained further, ‘more of our iconic businesses and traditions like shearing are either being sold overseas or dying off … we wanted to remind people to value their heritage and buy Australian, in a cheeky way’.
We can only speculate what Tom Roberts would think.