Wautt paardalaniny - (moving camp, all together)

Sandra Hill

Balingup, Australia

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Artist's Description

59.4cm wide x 78cm high
Oil on Plywood panel

The serpent represents my ancestors, the Nyoongar people as a community. They are moving away, moving camp, due to white intervention, from their deep connection to their country and their traditional lifestyle. This unique lifestyle was steeped in cultural tradition and ideology since the beginning of time and can be traced back at least 50,000 years.

The snake moves downward apprehensively, and leaves behind a familiar and unforgotten past. Moving slowly into an unknown and unfriendly future. It proceeds to head down toward a white world where culturally and aesthetically it neither fits nor belongs. Indigenous people were expected to become ‘white’ in all of its aspects within the space of 200 years and have suffered ongoing ‘punishment’ for not achieving this.

However, above all odds my people continue to survive and to move forward in a contemporary world, while never forgetting the rich cultural heritage that has been all but left behind over the generations, since the white man came to our shores. We continue to fight assimilation, to remain unique and will always endeavour to maintain our cultural links, kinship ties, languages and the deep connection that we have to our ancestors and our spiritual country.

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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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