Gordon Syron is widely considered the father of the Urban Aboriginal art movement. He taught himself to paint during a decade serving time in gaol during the 1960s. This lithograph was his first experiment with printmaking.
Looking though the bars on the window of his gaol cell he could see a church and graveyard – potent symbols of Aboriginal dispossession and the death of culture – a recurrent theme in his painting. The metal bars have an inner and outer layer. Like a person who manages to retain their humanity and survive under terrible adversity they are soft on the outside but case-hardened down the centre. There is no escape other than through the imagination. A depressing thought – represented by the gravestone which has been substituted for the missing piece of bar.Share