Oil on Canvas
153 x 33 cm
Helen S Tiernan repeats and reinterprets the stories and images that are etched in our collective memory her own way. One of the first attempts at painting an Aboriginal person was the portrait of Gna-na-gna-na by the Port Jackson painter (1790). In Tiernan's version Gna-na-gna-na turns his startled gaze on the intrusions of new people and strange objects into his familiar landscapes. Tiernan reflects how the Eora people moved comfortably and effortlessly in their country, without desecrating it. First settlers imposed their presence and their buildings on the landscape, creating a "built environment" for their life style over the Aboriginal use of the natural environment.