Today another painting by Jack Green, artist and activist from Borroloola in the Gulf Country of Australia’s Northern Territory. Jack explains the message:
Jacky Green 2012, Private Collection
These are the four clan or language groups around Borroloola. On the left in white and black at the top are the Yanyuwa. To the right of them are the Mara. Underneath in yellow and black are Gudanji, with Garawa on the right in black and white. While we are four different groups we are all related through ceremony, culture, land and marriage. The circle represents the ceremony that ties us together. The boat in the centre represents a prau that the Macassans used to sail from Indonesia to the Gulf of Carpentaria. My great-grandfather saw one of these and he went and painted it on his country at a cave at Spring Creek. The Macassans are part of our history; they came long before white people. We traded with them.
In the box at the top of the painting are three groups of people. On the left are Aboriginal people wondering what’s going on. In the middle are pastoralists. On the right are government people. This represents us as separate groups, not working together. On the right are four boxes. At the top is a government man. The man with white hair represents the boss of the mine, not caring about what happens to our country. Below him are miners. At the bottom are two miners standing in front of some rock art. They don’t care about the rock art or our sacred sites. They go looking for them,
taking pictures, or they ignore them when the mines go in.