Aboriginal Art: Five Stories

For Aboriginal readers: These blogs contains images and names of people who have passed away.

This is one of my favourite paintings.

I don’t know its name, and at the moment I can’t find out. It might be Ngayartakujarra because that’s where the people who painted it (those above) are standing, the immense salt lake that whitefellas call Lake Dora, a very culturally important water site now in the Karlamilyi National Park. Strangely I can’t find the painting on the internet but I did find the photo above. And that’s it in all its upside-down back-to-front over-exposed glory. They’ve painted their Country.

I know this painting well because that very canvas is in the Potter Gallery at Fed Square in Melbourne where it looks a bit like this.

Unhappily my camera has distorted the colours. It’s too green, too cream — the real thing is underpinned by the uncompromising white/grey/pink of the salt pan — and the colours in the songlines are far more vivid. I’ve somehow lost the blues. And that’s a shame because the harmonies and contrasts in the coloration is one of the reasons it is such a great painting. Its scale marks it out as an important work, and its carefully enunciated parts tell you that it is full of stories even if you can’t read them. But unusually there is also quite a strong gesture towards a more familiar type of map-view representation. It’s Martu Country near Punmu, gloriously rendered.

One of the reasons I like it is because I’ve been there. There is a thrill of recognition.

Punmu is at the eastern end of the Pilbara, a tiny community which, like a lot of such places, comes and goes. It was established in the 1980s as a ‘Back to Country’ outstation. The large cleared red area is Culture Site Number 2, a football ground where the Punmu Bulldogs play. Its remoteness from some things can be suggested by the fact that the Rawa school which I was visiting had just got a new room under Kevin Rudd’s school building program. It had cost $1.2m (in the days when $1.2m was $1.2m) to transport it from the coast where it had been pre-fabricated.

But it is not remote from other things that matter. From an article about Martumili, the art cooperative that produced this painting: ‘Punmu has inspired many significant paintings based around the warla jukurrpa (salt lake dreaming) and the traditional knowledge of the important waterholes and sites around the community. Senior artists based in Punmu are working hard to pass down knowledge of culture and Country to younger generations to keep the community strong.’

This area is also Rover Thomas‘s birth country. He was born at Yalda Soak near Well 33 on the Canning Stock Route. (Don’t bother trying to find it with Google maps. Bit north of Punmu.) One of his works, a print, is called Punmu — The Universe. Magic.

It mightn’t look exactly as it it did when it was created because Adrian Newstead’s car that was transporting it from Canberra to Rover’s home at Warmun in the Kimberley was stolen in the Balgo Hills. The prints were recovered from the Mary River, this particular one having been in the bottom of the river for 10 days or so before being retrieved.

That’s an Aboriginal art story.

* * * * * * *

Can whitefellas write about Aboriginal art?

That’s two different, and difficult, questions really. The first: are whitefellas allowed to write about Aboriginal art? Well they do, but then Donald Trump has been allowed to be President of the United States.

There’s a sometimes angry school of thought that answers, emphatically, no. You’ve taken everything else off us. You’re not taking that too. Mind your own business. Show some respect. Fuck off really.

And, (this is the second) anyway, as if you could! What do you know about Aboriginal culture and lore and Law? Aboriginal art builds on and from traditions and knowledge which are hundreds of centuries old or, if you want to be serious, have no relationship with western ideas of time at all. Many Aboriginal languages, for example, have a tense which incorporates past, present and future all at once, what Bill Stanner called in White Man’s Got No Dreaming, ‘it was, and is, everywhen’. That’s a long way outside your purview. You wouldn’t know where to start trying to understand something like that. Do you know any more about more recent Aboriginal experience: of racism, of dispossession, of being ignored politically? Have you experienced it? Felt it?

My answer to the first question is, and just as emphatically, that you can write about what you like. What you write about it, how well and how insightfully and respectfully, is another and more serious matter.

To duck past this issue I could shelter under an Acknowledgement of Country, say, just here. That seems like standard practice. I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of this Country, and pay my respects to Elders, past, present and emerging.

Yes. Well … It hardly seems enough does it? A ritual incantation like ‘I love God and my Country. I honour the flag and shall cheerfully (cheerfully eh; there’s a twist) obey my parents, teachers and the laws.’

Ritual incantations have their place. That I can still recite this one after 65 years is telling. But they are slight and by definition formulaic. Easily ignored; a momentary wave of a flag. Ok, it could signal. That’s over. Phew. Now let’s get on with the proper stuff. The other Potter Gallery at Melbourne University includes ‘and recognise that their sovereignty was never ceded‘. That’s stronger; but, you know … words.

Openly admitting my considerable shortcomings, this blog is offered in its entirety as an acknowledgment of Country and of how much I gained from the modest access I have been granted to the life and times of Aboriginal Australia.

But just while we’re identifying the wrestlers in this ring, one pressing issue to deal with is how to avoid suggesting that ‘Aboriginal Art’ can even be an idea.

There are rock paintings in Arnhem Land which have been confidently dated at more than 28,000 years old (among the oldest figurative art in the world and about six times older than Egypt’s pyramids). Others could be more than 40,000 years old. Millennia later in the second half of the 19th century Tommy McRae (also known as Yakaduna, and no relation) was making a living out of selling his wonderful sketches.

Victorian Blacks – Melbourne tribe holding corroboree after seeing ships for the first time 1890s [not his title]
National Gallery of Australia

Closer to the present, art made by Aboriginal people has shot off in a hundred directions. No dots, for example, in Reko Rennie’s punchy Initiation. But it’s still full of vigorous markers of Aboriginality. Among other things, those ‘abstract’ patterns all have deep roots and meanings. ‘Always was always will be’ is the strong form of Acknowledgement of Country.

Reko Rennie Initiation 2013
300 x 520cm
National Gallery of Victoria

There are a lot in of dots in Maria Josette Orsto’s transfixing Miyinga (Scars) another recent work. It’s not from the Western Desert, the home of dot painting, but from Melville Island off the north-western coast of the Northern Territory. Tiwi people. Her skin group is Japijapunga (the March Fly), her dance is the Trick Dance. It’s in natural ochres on canvas. She says: ‘I love doing art because (it) bring no sadness, no thinking about anything bad.’

Maria Josette Oresto Miyinga (Scars) 2017
seen at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

These examples are all often filed under ‘Aboriginal Art’. Draw generalisations from them at your peril.

The idea in the public imagination of Aboriginal Australia as a monolith — in time as well as space, maybe some amalgam of the Stone Age and the 1950s, except for footballers and Stan Grant — should be qualified.

Australia is about the same size as Europe, and a case could be made that the inhabitants of pre-European Australia were almost as diverse as those of the Europe of those times.

This map, the AIATSIS map of Indigenous Australia, an artwork in itself, may be familiar, but its implications are rarely considered by gubbas/ gardiya/ wadjela/ ballanda/ migali (a range of contemporary Aboriginal words from different parts of the country for whitefellas). In 1788, before colonisation, there were somewhere around 250 families of languages (and tribal nations), and somewhere between 600 and 750 languages with discrete character. There were and remain groups with their own distinctive physical features and varying ways of living with and managing the land and water. What would you expect really, given the complexity of Australia’s environment?

That is just historically. Multiply that by the distinctions which now arise from living in big cities, country towns or remote communities, by the contemporary coverage of the whole range of socio-economic groups, by the extraordinarily varied cultural influences Aboriginal people experience, by family history … Despite some serious and profound common underpinnings, ‘Aboriginal Australia’ is hugely diverse. And Aboriginal art is a lot more than dot painting.

And ‘art’. Is that the best word? Mr Ainsworth was remembering men’s ‘art’ he saw at Mutawintji National Park in western NSW, and thought not. Not always anyway. The most accessible of this ‘art’ is in a cave, Thaaklatjika, and the markings are understood to have been made by a Miikika, a ‘Clever Man’. The subject is a yarra (a stick ornamented with feathers and human hair) used to beat the bad spirits out of the sick. The painting is not about this process or a rendering of this process. It is a part of the process. It is a painting certainly (various shades of ochre on a rock wall), but not intended as art, not intended as something to satisfy anyone aesthetically. It is functional, at work in a host of ways: to explain, record, remember, remind, but it is also part of the business. Like a lot of western religious art in fact, it has attributes which transcend its obvious visual values and form.

This question will recur. Are we talking about art here or ethnography, artwork or artefact? You can just let that sit for a while and make your own mind up whether or not you need to make your mind up about that.

To manage these issues I’ve chosen five ‘artists’ to represent what I think are some big ideas embedded in any discussion of ‘Aboriginal art’. Just a taster, but with a bit of salt. For me, each of the works is just wonderful.

As I’ve written the pieces they’ve turned into stories about paintings and artists rather than items of art appreciation. Not only that, but whitefellas get more of a go than might be considered appropriate right at this point in time. But everything has a context. It’s unavoidable. As Philip Batty says in the piece about Emily: ‘[Contemporary] Aboriginal art is an intercultural phenomenon, shaped both by its Aboriginal producers and non-Aboriginal consumers.‘ And, he could have added, by the productive interaction between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians as well as by all the mean streets of injustice, dispossession and disrespect.

Although it won’t matter much I have meant them to be read in the order below. The preliminary headings are somewhat arbitrary. Each could be applied to all. And keep at it. Don’t let fatigue cause you to miss out on the astonishing story of Emily Kame Kngwarreye.

THE COSMOS: Narritjin Maymuru

Creation Stories of the Manggalili Clan c 1965
77 x 224 cm
Held by the National Museum of Australia

The white, that’s my bones. Red is blood. That there yellow is body fat. And black, that’s the colour of my skin.’ Narritjin talking about his painting. ‘Some people can explain what’s in the meaning of a painting, but sometimes we don’t … There is a story beyond that painting that is attached to us … But whatever there is, there in that painting, it represents who we are and what we are and gives us the strength and the power for that.’

Narritjin was a senior member of the Manggalili people of the Yirritja moiety, a ‘great intellectual, ceremonial leader, artist and strong advocate for educating non-Yolgnu people about Yolgnu art and culture’. (Yolgnu are the people of East Arnhem Land. Moeities are part of a kinship structure which operates widely in Aboriginal societies.)

His home country was Djarrakpi (Cape Shield) at the very eastern end of Arnhem Land, but he spent a lot of his life working with the Mission at Yirrkala 100km north. (The Christian churches divided up remote Australia for their missionary work. So the Catholics ‘took’ the Kimberley, the Lutherans the Centre, Anglicans the Cape and Gulf, and Methodists Arnhem Land. It’s interesting how much evidence of this there still is. For example there are still more Catholic schools than government schools in the Kimberley.)

Yirrkala Mission was set up in 1935 with very little apparent impact on traditional life styles. The Yolgnu had been trading with Macassans from what is now Sulawesi in Indonesia for many hundreds of years and were used to visitors. The source I am working from (an Aboriginal writer) says, ‘In no sense did [the Yolgnu] believe that they had given up any rights to their land or way of life’ [as a result of the coming of the missionaries]. Over the years I have been told several times by influential locals from Arnhem Land communities that this part of Australia has never been conquered. (The greatest threat to that status has come from mining companies.)

The religion which emerged from this partnership is still in evidence, at times highly individual and most certainly syncretic with bits from everywhere. This is often expressed through paintings. But this painting, only 55 years old, represents a vastly older tradition.

The tools: ochre on carefully prepared eucalyptus bark. There are thousands of such panels in existence, some very old and some, like the Bark Petition to the Australian Government (at right), very famous. A brush made of human hair is used for the distinctive fine cross-hatching (rrark) which marks artworks out both as being from this region and, depending on the pattern, belonging to a particular clan.

Other artists may seek and be granted use of a particular rrark. After a visit to Arnhem Land, contemporary southern artist Lin Onus made such a request for a series of his paintings. This is Koi at Sankei-En. Just to complicate things further, Sankei-En is a garden in Yokohama and koi the Japanese carp which fill the ponds of formal Japanese gardens.)

Creation Stories is a ‘public’ painting so its meaning can be at least partly described.

The background story. Wangarr is the period of creation, during which ancestral beings bestowed land and waters, ceremony, sacred objects and madayin miny’itji (sacred designs and motifs) upon the various clans of the Yirritja and Dhuwa moieties. The powerful Wangarr beings travelled across the landscape during this time, their activities creating the features of the landscape including rivers, rocks, mangroves, mud flats, sand dunes, trees and islands, leaving those elements of country imbued with names and character as well as spiritual essence and meaning. The ancestral beings ‘sang’ the names of everything they created or interacted with, making certain species sacred to the clan on whose land or in whose waters the naming took place.

It was during this period of creating that language, law, paintings and songs, dances, ceremony and certain stories, all derived from ancestral events, were given to the founding members of each clan. Together, the land and the waters and this sacred clan property form a clan member’s djalkiri, his or her foundation (also ‘foot’, ‘footprint’ or ‘tree roots’ in Yolgnu Matha, the local language).

In nomadic lives art is one means of maintaining and transporting these stories.

In the painting, Guwak, the koel cuckoo, is sitting on top of a cashew tree. In the top right hand corner is Marrgnu, the possum. These two figures along with emus are the main ancestral figures of the Manggalili. There are huge digging sticks to the right and left of Guwak. The wavy lines are tide marks and the line of dashes represent possum tracks. Along with diamond-shapes and chevrons, these are the clan’s madayin miny’itji, sacred motifs.

Possums are climbing up and down the tree and the digging stick leaving behind the string spun from their fur from which the shape of the Cape has been defined. The spider sits between the possums spinning a web, the fog that every morning shrouds the lagoon.

Guwak died from drowning in a tidal wave generated by two ancestral turtles (see the bottom corners of the whole painting), and appears dead in human form in the centre panel. On the right hand side are women, the two Nyapililngu, who came to the area naked and without skills but who learnt to spin possum string which among other things became the mountains. The one at left is collecting shellfish modestly dressed in a sheet of bark. In the next panel are two cicadas which cry out at Guwak‘s death. In the bottom left hand corner one of Nyapililngu waits for Guwak on the beach with the overturned boat, mourning by cutting open her forehead with a digging stick, now a traditional way of expressing grief. In the next panel is the snail which provided the shape for shelter. On the other side are a series of emus and Guwak in human form with fishing spears.

The bottom sections of the painting are about funerary rites, but these three panels in the middle refer to the process and meaning of death.

In the centre is the anvil shape of the smoke from the Nyapililngus fire (another clan motif) suggesting the welter of conflicting emotion accompanying death. On the left is a sand crab picking the beach clean accompanied by reef herons engaged in the same task including feeding on the sand crabs — a cycle of cleansing and transformation as memory fades. On the right are tracks of turtles dragging themselves over the sand to lay eggs and of humans looking for turtle eggs in one of which is a foetus. Life will begin again.

The painting has far more messages and implications than a creation story. It has a geography for example. It can be read by those who can as defining Manggalili Country. The Nyapililngu on the left of the picture delineate the dunes which are one boundary. The tree in which Guwak sits has a place in a landscape defined by the string that the possums have been spinning. The figures at the right have their topographical correspondences.

It also contains moral and spiritual direction for behaviour understood and communicated by Elders and the Law-givers of the group.

All that and so much more.

The underlying elements of this cosmology have resonances throughout most of the country. The existence of what are widely referred to today as jukurrpa (originally a Central Australian and Western Desert word) — meaning the origins and powers embodied in places, objects, songs and stories, connecting people to country and to each other through shared networks of knowledge, what Europeans named ‘dreamings’ — was and is a widespread component of everyday belief.

Traditional art, including some created in contemporary urban settings, will always draw on, embody and realise these structures and stories. At the same time art produced in remote Australia is not always ‘traditional’ in this strong sense. Sometimes it is created simply for delight in form and colour, and sometimes just to pay the bills.

Creation Stories has enormous intellectual interest but there is also something aesthetically enticing about its controlled busyness. There is a lot to look at. The figures are silhouettes, sometimes decorated sometimes not. (This tradition also includes ‘X-ray’ creatures.) It is balanced vertically and horizontally, but without troubling to be symmetrical. It is the work of a master pattern-maker.

But with painting from Arnhemland, it is often just the wonderful rrark that gets me in.

Rrrark on a Yirridjdja pole, painted by Kenan Namunjdja,
who lives and works at Mankorlod and Maningrida.
Seen at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney.

And now to a great mystery … READ ON.

IDENTITY: Robert Campbell Jnr

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Abo History (Facts) 1988
130 x 200cm
Held by the National Gallery of Australia

You might be finding the detail of this painting hard to see. Its date for example. 1988. Also known as the Bicentenary. Perhaps its title. Abo History (Facts).

From top left: Dad brings a kangaroo home. We might be fishing, chasing kangas or both. Life is good. Whitefellas turn up in ships with a flag. They start chopping down trees and killing blackfellas, although some blackfellas are helping them out. We build a house, they build a house. We’re growing things and fishing together and sharing the produce. Still good. Uh, we’re off in the bush getting stuck into the grog; and they won’t let us use the swimming pool they’ve built. Second from the left, bottom row — them whitefullas, they’ve introduced ‘dog tags’, the thing we hate most in the world. Albert all over again mate. What the hell are ya!

Under the ‘protection’ legislation of 1943 in most parts of Australia individuals were permitted to apply for an ‘exemption’ from the Act [‘Act’ meaning the legislation controlling Aboriginal people at the time]. An exemption or ‘dog tag’ as it was often referred to, meant that an Aboriginal person wasn’t treated as Aboriginal for the purpose of the Act. [Think about that!] They were entitled to vote, drink alcohol, move freely, and their children could be admitted to ordinary public schools. [Which indicates, of course, that these were things ‘Aboriginal’ Aboriginal people could not do.] They were however prohibited from consorting with other Aboriginal people who were not exempt. This renunciation of their traditional lifestyle was promoted as the only opportunity to overcome poverty, gain work and access to education and social welfare benefits.

Thus Aboriginal people could buy alcohol at a bar (if permitted by the barman), on the condition of renouncing their family and heritage. What a deal! Sign me up!

Same frame: we can go to the pictures but we have to sit up the front in a special section roped off for blackfellas. Next: we’ve all been jammed together onto a ‘mission’. We decide to burn it down. Last: Aboriginal deaths in custody. (Current rate of Aboriginal incarceration: 2440 per 100,000 population; non-Aboriginal, 216 per 100,000. Aboriginal people about 2 percent of the Australian population, about 27 percent of the prison population. 434 Aboriginal deaths in custody since 2010. All data, 2020)

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Robert Campbell Junior was born in 1944 and grew up near Kempsey on Burnt Bridge Mission. Dave Sands, a near contemporary and a champion Aboriginal boxer with a fight record of 108 fights: 97 wins (62 by knockout), 7 losses, 4 no contests, grew up at Burnt Bridge too. In his bigger fights he was billed as being Puerto Rican for fear of turning the fans away.

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The Fighting Sands Brothers, 1989
55 x 92 cm

Burnt Bridge Mission. You can read about some of its worst aspects here (Jennifer’s Story from Bringing Them Home) and here (Ian Lowe’s story of being taken away). These stories are both about being taken away from the Mission and there are people today who were brought up on Missions that speak warmly about those experiences contrasting them favourably with what happens in rural towns today. But those two stories speak to the other side. They are, literally, almost unbearable.

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My dear friend Merv Bishop, the man who took this photo, Australia’s first Aboriginal press photographer and probably the first Aboriginal person to work on a mainstream Australian newspaper, spent six years of his life from 1974 working for the Commonwealth Department of Aboriginal Affairs making a photographic record of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life around the country, what would have been in some respects a dream job, in others heart breaking. ‘The things I’ve seen brother boy …’, sucking on his clenched teeth, eyes flashing, shaking his head.

That included spending some time at Burnt Bridge. He went back in 1988. The year of the Bicentenary. Among his later photos were these.

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He can take a snap that Merv.

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Robert Campbell left the Mission when he was 14. His art career had begun by doing outline drawings on boomerangs to sell to tourists which his father filled in with poker work (via a heated wire). In his later teens he moved on to scenes on bits of cardboard in gloss house paint that he found leftover at the tip. He’d sell those too, ‘for a carton’. He moved to Sydney and did ‘all the jobs that wasn’t good enough for white people’ — manual labour, factory work, pea picking, brickie’s mortar boy. Sick of this, he went back to Kempsey where he ran into another artist, Tony Coleing, who suggested getting back into painting, this time with better tools: art paint and canvas or artist’s board.

It was then, 1987/88, that the men in red ties began appearing. (Abo History is an early work from this period.) The background patterning, figurative elements, colours and stylistic conventions in his work are all based on traditional Ngaku clan designs found on boomerangs and shields. The National Gallery curator states confidently that the ties are symbols of life and vitality. Other commentators assert equally firmly that they are symbols of ‘suffocation and stifling conformity’. I am inclined to think he found something that would work like a dream to give his figures vigour and interest, and then it became a trademark. A beauty.

Interviewed in 1990 he said:

When I paint, I don’t copy or make a sketch first. It just comes from within me and I keep going. I have a picture in my mind — it’s the spirit in me. It just guides my hand.

I’ve seen some Aboriginal drawings from the Northern Territory in magazines and I kept adding and creating my own style — the Aboriginal spirit in me that I’d lost. When we were on the mission the old people weren’t allowed to talk the lingo, not allowed to teach us. They were too frightened they would be sent away or something. I’m 45 years-old now and yet I’m still searching for that Aboriginal identity that I’ve lost.

One stream of his work is political.

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The Dog Tag, 1989
91 x 120 cm

The Dog Tag has the additional inscription Tyerabarrbowaryaou which in Ngaku means ‘I shall never become a white man’.

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Map of the massacre of Blacks in the Macleay Valley, 1989
79 x 115cms
Art Gallery of NSW

There are records of massacres in his work and a great many stories of dealings with the police. But he also painted the world of his day, the things he was interested in, possibly with an eye to his market as well: the disappearance of Azaria Chamberlain, ‘Australia II’s’ victory in the 1983 America’s Cup, the Moon landing, Ash Wednesday, the racehorse trainer Bart Cummings, the boxer Jeff Fenech, Senator Neville Bonner. And he dug more deeply into the day-to-day of his heritage.

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Hunting Tucker, 1993
124 x 199 cm, private collection

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Blue Light Man: the Ghost of Gravelly Hill
private collection

I love the shimmering vitality in his work, but there is always an active mind at work as well as a very gifted hand. It’s that mind and the experience that has formed it which provided another reason for inclusion here.

New South Wales has a larger Aboriginal population than any other state or territory. The rail heads along the Newell Highway (Parkes, Forbes, Dubbo, Narrabri, Moree) and the rich sub-tropical forests and lush riverlands of the north coast produced concentrations of Aboriginal people.

However individual, Robert Campbell’s story would resonate directly in the lives of tens of thousands of Aboriginal people from this area alive today: the Mission background; still somewhere near Country, but not quite; still somewhere near family but parts of that are a blur; lost lingo, lost old time Culture. Something new constructed as culture which includes memories of dispossession and cruelty, grog, intermittent trouble with the law, racism. Struggling with your identity, your place in the world and your future. Sometimes cut badly adrift. But friends, maybe a kind teacher (or priest, or art dealer) among the dross, time spent in the bush, hunting, watching and playing football, doing things together, and feeling that thread of community whatever it might be — but which is not extinguished. Maybe Campbell was more of an Aboriginal artist than he could ever allow.

The first time I went to Walgett, not too many years ago, Marge and I went to the wrong pub for tea. We wouldn’t have minded, but we’d gone to the black pub — no women either — when we should have been at the white-as-white Bowlo. We were gently moved on. Walgett’s pretty bad of course. The shops that are left are all shuttered at night and often during the day.

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Charlie Perkins

And it was the Moree pool that was ‘whites only’ when Charles Perkins and the Freedom Riders arrived in 1965. (In fact Aboriginal children could swim there — before 3pm and as long as they’d been thoroughly scrubbed before entry by the pool staff.)

I never saw this but when I was working at Moree, several people whose views I trust absolutely told me that quite regularly on Saturday nights the whitefellas from the north side of the Namoi would get on the charge (get drunk) and go and take pot shots with their rifles at the Aboriginal camp fires on the other side. That’s 10 years ago. Not that many years ago.

And that’s one of the reasons I think Robert Campbell Junior is a great artist. He looked at this, and more, straight in the eye, put it on paper and somehow, somehow, like a lot of blackfellas I know, not only kept his sense of humour but stayed civilised.

And the big finish. And you can’t get bigger than Emily … READ ON.

Attractive Curiosities: wet and arty


Pt Kembla sea pool. Two swimmers. Disappearing into infinity. The colours of ghosts. The terraces at left suggest another different time. Such a beautiful pool.

IMG_0009North Wollongong beach. Hot. IMG_0010From a distance the statue looks, what, Grecian? Up closer, a bit more terrorifying.


The rocks above the Gong’s sea baths.


Wedding Cake Rocks in the Royal National Park.


The Illawarra as described on the outside wall of the Wollongong gallery.IMG_0028

The Illawarra as described on the inside wall of the Wollongong gallery.IMG_0026

The Illawarra as described on the bedroom wall of the Wollongong gallery.


‘Why me?’ Alice McKenzie, Narwan woman. Self-explanatory.IMG_0021

Untitled masterpiece. George Tjungurrayi, Kiwirrkura man. Not self-explanatory.


Lady Di providing direction to three Pre-Raphaelite chaps.


Why this? Why anything?