Wardang (crow) in the Loquat Tree

Sandra Hill

Balingup, Australia

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Artist's Description

100cm wide x 91cm high
Oil and acrylic on Plywood panel

My mother’s moiety is the Wardang (Crow). The Loquat tree is originally from China and so was my great-great Grandfather, William Ah Sing, who came to Australia from Shanghai in the early part of the century. He married an Aboriginal woman from Nyungar country. The painting symbolises my late mother, Doreen (nee Calgaret) Hill, and her four sisters yarning in the tree that is part of her heritage and also mine.

My mother was removed from her family in 1933 at the age of nine and placed at the Moore River Native Settlement and subsequently, due to her fair skin, at Sister Kate’s Orphanage for Half Caste Children. She and her older sister, Hilda, were two of the first ‘quarter-caste’ children to be placed at the home when it was initially located at Buckland Hill in North Fremantle. It was many years before she and her sisters were reunited and this painting is a symbol of that experience. It is a tribute to my own beloved sisters and to sisters everywhere.

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