The New Woman exhibition at Museum of Brisbane


To see them on the wall and to see all the women and particularly the number of Indigenous women being represented you know in the show is fantastic and women have to work 10 times, 100 times, harder
than men to even sort of get this to the same level of representation that a lot of the men do as well. And then even just that colour on the walls shouts out that these stories are important. It’s really just beautiful to be in that space. My thesis was exploring Aboriginal identity through self portraiture, so that particular work Bunya Pines are my totem. I made a crown of thorns – a
Bunya crown – and I put this crown around my head. The Bunya Pine leaf it’s
super sharp, it’s razor sharp and I painted it myself with the colour red
across my nose, which is also known as Marucci and Marucci was the burial
paint that we wore when we were burying our people. There was the red and the
white and the white was also you know important sort of body paint and so reflecting that sort of colour of the red ochre and so that work was really about
me having to fight for my country and me being angry and having to sort of
put one foot in front of the other every day and just kind of go enough’s enough, stop destroying our land, stop killing the environment, stop killing my sacred
trees. But also there’s that sadness and this
grief about the loss and an impact of development in all my country. Well I have a possum skin cloak, it’s a collaborative work so it’s not just my work and a lot of students, some lecturers and people around Queensland College of Art have participated in that but it was also the contemporary
Aboriginal community of Brisbane of the time were invited to come and put their
bush tucker stories on the cloak so it’s a collaborative work and many voices in
this case. I started making cloaks as a connection through to my Aboriginal
family, my connections, my great-grandmother Annie and she would
have probably worn possum skin cloaks and her mother definitely would have
worn them. You know I was looking at the didactic before and probably you know one didactic alone, 80% of that had some QCA connection whether it’s whether they’re teaching there,
whether they’ve graduated from there or whether they’ve done some postgraduate
studies there so I think you know we’re really really doing extremely well. Despite huge leaps and bounds we’ve made I still believe that you know women
artists are greatly greatly underrepresented right across the board and even within the institution and that area of leadership and particularly arts leadership. Well I think it’s a necessary dialogue that we need to have and when you look at the caliber of the artists too and from the last hundred years and all the different periods that they have
catalogued here, the voices of the women are really strong and it’s really an
honour to be part of that.

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