LAUNCESTON'S QVMAG Royal Park has deleted a student-made film about animal cruelty from its annual ArtRage exhibition, only to watch it draw a growing audience on social media.
Entitled Cuniculus , the seven-minute video depicts road kill and various takes on animal cruelty, including a throat-slitting scene and experimentation using needles on a human body.
On Tuesday, after seeking legal advice about classification compliance for digital media, Launceston's QVMAG management decided the video by Newstead College student Eloise Thetford ``did not meet public screening standards''.
Gallery director Richard Mulvaney said there was concern particularly that the work had the potential to frighten young children who unwittingly began watching the video without parental guidance.
``ArtRage is an exhibition of TCE students' assessment work, and in that context draws a predominantly family audience.
``As the work was one of a much larger folio of works drawn from around the state we decided that pulling the work was the most practical course of action.''
Thetford said she was disappointed that her short film, which had earned her a ``high achievement'' in TCE assessment, had been dropped from ArtRage .
``I think QVMAG was concerned that it depicts a girl wearing a rabbit's head, who gets her throat cut,'' said Thetford yesterday.
``But my film is not about bestiality, it's all about the wrongs of animal cruelty, using animals for experimentation.
``As to the model in the film, she is a friend of mine and although she is under 18 her parents knew the film was being made, it's not child exploitation.
``I just want to put the spotlight on animal cruelty.''
Late on Tuesday Thetford decided to upload her video to Youtube where it received nearly 250 hits in 24 hours.