2017/0031 The black pearl

The black pearl

Artist

Julie DOWLING
Aboriginal/Indigenous
Birth:
30 Jan 1969
 in
Subiaco, Perth, Western Australia

Artwork

Title
The black pearl
Date
2002
Medium/Material
synthetic polymer paint, red ochre and metallic paint on canvas
Dimensions
100.0 x 120.0 cm (Height x Width x Depth)
Credit line
Gift of Brigitte Braun, 2017
State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia
Accession Number
2017/0031
Currently not on display

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Extended Label

This painting is about the slavery of First Nation men and women in theearly pearl industry in Cossack, Derby and Broome in the north-west ofWestern Australia. This painting shows the transition from first nationdivers to Japanese and Malay workers. Many of my male and femaleancestors were marched out of the interior deserts around Lake Mooreto do this work. They had never seen the ocean before. The boss-man inthe hat has a black pearl in his hand, which was and is still highly soughtafter. When a diver found a black pearl, they were made to work harderto find more in the same location.Pearl diving was an extremely dangerous job and the lives of countlessFirst Nation divers, both men, women and children, were expendable.Early sympathetic accounts from Reverend Gribble noted theruthlessness and cruelty of the pearling bosses over our ancestors.These bosses and the government of the day pocketed large profits.Slave divers were paid in basic food and shelter. Their deaths wereunrecorded.

Artist statement, 2018This painting is about the slavery of First Nation men and women in the early pearl industry in Cossack, Derby and Broome in the north-west of Western Australia. This painting shows the transition from first nation divers to Japanese and Malay workers. Many of my male and female ancestors were marched out of the interior deserts around Lake Moore to do this work. They had never seen the ocean before. The boss-man in the hat has a black pearl in his hand, which was and is still highly sought after. When a diver found a black pearl, they were made to work harder to find more in the same location. Pearl diving was an extremely dangerous job and the lives of countless First Nation divers, both men, women and children, were expendable. Early sympathetic accounts from Reverend Gribble noted the ruthlessness and cruelty of the pearling bosses over our ancestors. These bosses and the government of the day pocketed large profits. Slave divers were paid in basic food and shelter. Their deaths were unrecorded.

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Vernon id: 22861