“There is no better way to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues than to listen to those voices, and often there is no more powerful way to communicate what those voices are saying than through art,” says Katie.
Her interest in FUMA’s collections was piqued by a visit to the on-campus art museum last year as part of the history topic, The Lucky Country?, with lecturer Catherine Kevin.
“I found several artworks that helped me to learn about and understand pieces of Australian history that I previously knew nothing about.” This included the Maralinga nuclear tests and Aboriginal domestic slavery.
Katie was particularly captivated by Yhonnie Scarce’s work White Out, which she says wielded enormous emotional power over her.
The work consists of four blown glass pieces shaped to resemble bush yams. The pieces are bound tightly in white twine, obscuring the glass objects from view.
Katie observed that, despite all the efforts to disguise the underlying clear glass objects, there were still gaps in between the thread where they could be seen.
“Aboriginal culture cannot be defeated by however much ‘whiteness’ has been forced upon it. It will always shine through, beautiful and crystal clear.”