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This painting is from the series
"The Study of Emu" which was a collection of 11 portrait paintings titled FEATHERFOOT("I wanted to portray the Emu as an elegant bird and always protective of his young"), Gordon said in the year 2000.
This series was produced and shown at the 2000 Olympics.
This theme was re-worked to show to explain how the clearing of the land for cattle/sheep/squatters affected the emu.
No Trees & Here Comes The Redcoat is a cry for the environment. Australia's fragile
ecosystem is a delicate balance and the clearing of the land of it's emu population greatly affected Aboriginal people. (Syron remembers his Grandmother telling him she remembers emu birds everywhere when she grew up at Forester-Tuncurry.)
The emu is very important to Aboriginal people. The Featherfoot or Cleverfoot can carry messages from one area to another. The Kadachi Man is very powerful and wears
emu feathers on his feet. "I gave the emu human characteristics because the emu
is so dignified and protects his young at all costs". The male emu sits on the eggs and raises the young alone. "Some Aboriginal men have forgotten this instinctive quality and I wanted to encourage them & to remind them, to become stronger to protect their women and children, as the emu does.
In this painting I tried to show the emu at home in the bush and I made the redcoat small so he does not belong there and he is insignificant because of his size.