The Pay-Back

Julie DOWLING: artist

Not On Display

About the work

In the 1990s, three women were abducted and murdered from a street
in Claremont, where I used to show my art. In that same period, my longtime
friend was pulled from a telephone booth in her middle-income
suburban street by two white men and dragged into a car. She was
terrified. Hours later, and only after they pulled into a police station, she
realised they were plain-clothes police officers. They had racially profiled
her because she was First Nation in a middle-class suburb.
Inspired by Artemisia Gentileschi’s painting, Judith Slaying Holofernes,
1614–1620, I painted the emotions I felt for the patriarchal, racist police
in Perth. The man in the shirt is a police sergeant with his ID number
badge on his shoulder. The young woman wears white ochre as a sign
of spirit and mourning for all First Nation women who are murdered by
occupying forces and the constabulary.
The Pay-Back
Artist/Maker and role
Julie DOWLING: artist
synthetic polymer paint, ochre, blood on canvas
104.5cm x 144.0 cm
Credit line
Purchased 1996
The State Art Collection, The Art Gallery of Western Australia
Accession number

This is one of the paintings in our collection.


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