Supplied by Olivia Nigro.
Prominent Aboriginal artist, Blak Douglas aka Adam Hill, has launched an installation in Redfern to support a National Day of Action (NDA) on Sorry Day calling for a stop to the unprecedented number of Aboriginal children being forcibly removed from their families.
Hosted by Baru Art, the exhibition will be on display for one month at the Baru Art Space, right beside the popular Redfern establishment, Social-Laneway Espresso. Baru Art is an emerging non-profit arts organisation creating opportunities for artists working in the Asia Pacific region.
The installation, titled What’s Up DOCS?!, depicts an Aboriginal doll captured in a white hand against the backdrop of a red and yellow stop sign (see image attached). Hill says it is a response to a national campaign calling for the return of ‘stolen children’ and investment in services to keep Aboriginal families together.
In his artist statement, Hill described, “Few people realize that the removal of Indigenous children from their families has continued unabated [yet] one in ten Indigenous children have been taken from their families in New South Wales alone”.
Hill is renowned for his sharp political commentary and recently held an exhibition, titled ‘Bomb’, in the Museum of Contemporary Aboriginal Art in Utrecht (Netherlands) exploring questions of racism and nationalism in Australia.
“This year’s Sorry Day will commemorate the families broken and the lives devastated by racist government policy”, Hill continued.
The NDA on May 26 was initiated by a group of Grandmothers from Gunnedah known as Grandmothers Against Removals (GMAR) with the support of Aboriginal rights groups across the country.
A national statement issued to mark the occasion says, “More Aboriginal children are now being taken away than at any previous time in Australia’s black and white history – this cannot be allowed to continue”.
“Removals that are happening now are no different to those in the 20th Century. Police are regularly sent with weapons to rip our children away. Mothers who fight back are jailed. Babies are taken from their mothers at birth”, the statement continues.
Hill’s artwork inspired the national poster for the NDA, attached here, and he is urging affected families and supporters to get involved.
“Join us on Monday May 26th to march together against the systematic destruction of our nation’s first people”, Hill concluded.