2017/0055 The runaway

The runaway

Artist

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

Artwork

Title
The runaway
Date
1993
Medium/Material
synthetic polymer paint on canvas
Dimensions
93.3 x 94.5 cm (Height x Width x Depth)
Credit line
Gift of Brigitte Braun, 2017
State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia
Accession Number
2017/0055
Currently not on display

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Extended Label

When the Freedom of Information Act passed parliament in 1982, Iwas thirteen years old. But I had to wait till I was eighteen to accessgovernment records to find my lost family members, for my Mum andNana. One time, I came across a file that told of a boy who had run awayfrom the South West and was known to be travelling north via Payne’sFind or possibly by the coast with First Nation people.In my mind, I thought the child made it home and that his grandfatherwas there to greet him; and that’s where he stayed. But as I turned thepages, I discovered the little fella made it back home only to be takenaway again. His grandfather passed away some years later never seeinghis grandson again.I also painted this because it was at that moment where I knew I hadgrown into an adult. I had the realisation that I was looking through whatmy family had endured. It was because they fought for my freedom that Iwas able to speak back about the injustices they endured. By my accessto our family files we could find the hidden truth. Secrets about me, mymother, grandmother and great grandmother were right there in front ofme; accessible.

Artist statement, 2018When the Freedom of Information Act passed parliament in 1982, I was thirteen years old. But I had to wait till I was eighteen to access government records to find my lost family members, for my Mum and Nana. One time, I came across a file that told of a boy who had run away from the South West and was known to be travelling north via Payne’s Find or possibly by the coast with First Nation people. In my mind, I thought the child made it home and that his grandfather was there to greet him; and that’s where he stayed. But as I turned the pages, I discovered the little fella made it back home only to be taken away again. His grandfather passed away some years later never seeing his grandson again. I also painted this because it was at that moment where I knew I had grown into an adult. I had the realisation that I was looking through what my family had endured. It was because they fought for my freedom that I was able to speak back about the injustices they endured. By my access to our family files we could find the hidden truth. Secrets about me, my mother, grandmother and great grandmother were right there in front of me; accessible.

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Vernon id: 22892