Oil on Canvas
138 x 301 cm
Please note that prices are subject to change at the discretion of the gallery.
Since the turn of the century I painted off and on this painting. I want justice, that is why I painted Bill Hayden, the governor-general on trial and judged by an all-black jury and judge.
Australia's court system locks up Aboriginal people so easily. When a crime is committed then everyone points towards the poorest community in this rich nation.
The inquiries, the royal commission, even the stolen children report is not accepted and something done to correct the situation, to empty the gaols. The black fellas are such good prisoners. The prison officers love them. They say yes boss, yes boss ok boss.
Prison is such a lonely place.
I added the Aboriginal ballerinas (because I was sick of always seeing white ballerinas at the opera house or in the newspapers),twirling around the edge of the canvas to change the way people see Aboriginal women. We have beautiful dancers and they can dance the traditional dances and the contemporary ballet too.
The shark is my totem so I painted him gliding out in a development or a reworking of an earlier very important painting called The Impostor Roll Call. I wrote on the names of impostors like SASKI who was and Indian man who pretended to be Aboriginal and Steve Parish who promoted him knowing he has an Indian accent. He printed thousands of greeting cards and sold thousands of paintings and even covered the ceiling of a North Shore church which still exists today with his stolen themes of Aboriginal dots and motifs.