Inside Eric Löbbecke’s head: how the Walkley Magazine cover was born

Eric Löbbecke normally makes pointed illustrations on deadline for The Australian’s opinion page. This time we asked him to do something a little different. He embarked on a journey to explore the nature of politics, power, money and accountability, and filed this video.

The election campaign was in full swing while I was doing it. Nothing was getting done. Nothing was getting said. We weren’t getting any information from our leaders. I was waiting for real policies and they weren’t coming through. I was getting really frustrated by it.

I think the “er er er um um um” in the film is all about that – there’s never things said to us. Richard Evans, the sound artist, does a lot of this stuff on the words that aren’t said, the words in between when we stumble. It just fitted beautifully with what I was thinking about.

And the Panama Papers came out around then. There’s so many things that are just covered up. Big leaders and big companies are just shoving money away. Most of us just go off and pay our taxes and expect that everyone else is doing the same thing, but it’s not happening.

Cartoonists are there to make fun of people in power. My whole work is about bringing that to light. That’s what this image and film is about: the fact that we have not much power over the powerful.

It’s quite deliberate that it’s disjointed. I wanted to create a mood and a feeling about how we see these powerful people. I started with these little plasticine actors, and I didn’t know where they were going to go. I start putting the judge in to show the judiciary, the power. Then I added the reporter, because I thought she was the one telling the story. The narrative started to happen — but I didn’t really know where it was going to end.

Articles from the print version of the Walkley Magazine appear on see the latest. Eric Lobbecke also looked at the digital evolution of the opinion page illustration for us in 2014 and won a Walkley Award for Artwork in 2014. Find him on Twitter: @hthtdraws.