Julie DOWLING: artist

Not On Display

About the work

This painting is about slave labour in the sheep industry in Western
Australia. Indeed, it is about all forms of slavery perpetrated by colonial
invaders into First Nation held lands and water.
Colonials view First Nation people as lazy and only fit for slavery.
Immoral, racist attitudes about First Nation people still exist today.
In the background, the landscape is split in its line of perspective. The
male figure stands waist deep, surrounded by sheep. The wool industry
in ‘Australia’ once held the world market. The profits of which have made
some of the richest families on this continent. The profits never spilt
into the hands of First Nation people – the slave labourers who were
anything but lazy. Some of the men (and women) who were subjected to
this treatment are alive today.
As the saying goes, “we only began to be called lazy when we stopped
working for free.”
Artist/Maker and role
Julie DOWLING: artist
oil and red ochre on canvas
120.4 x 100.0 cm
Credit line
Gift of Brigitte Braun, 2017
The State Art Collection, The Art Gallery of Western Australia
Accession number

This is one of the paintings in our collection.