Vernon AH KEE: artist

Not On Display

About the work

There was a fall is composed of words from the Queensland Coroner’s report into the death of thirty-six year old Mulrunji (Cameron) Doomadgee, who died in police custody on Palm Island, in 2004. On its release, the report was read out by the then mayor of Palm Island, Erykah Kyle, to residents who gathered in the town square. Footage of the mayor reading out these exact words is included at the start of the tall man video, which sits adjacent. While at the watch-house, Doomadgee sustained four broken ribs and his liver was split in two.
Upon learning of these horrific injuries, Lex Wotton and other residents expressed their grief and anger. The police station, court house and home of the officer-in-charge were subsequently set alight. Lex Wotton, who presents as the proactive muscular figure in the tall man video, was later convicted for inciting a riot. In 2008, he was sentenced to seven years in prison. During his imprisonment, and after his release on parole in 2010, a gag order was placed on Wotton, which prohibited him from speaking to the media or at public events. The gag was lifted in 2014.
The police officer charged with Doomadgee’s death was found not guilty. Doomadgee’s eighteen year old son took his life in 2006.
Artist/Maker and role
Vernon AH KEE: artist
synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen
180.0 x 240.0 cm
Credit line
Purchased 2016
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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