Will You See Me Now?
'Will You See Me Now?'
Portrait of Alwyn Doolan - Message Stick Walk
2019 Doug Moran Portrait Prize Entrant
AVAILABLE NOW Limited edition Giclée Fine Art Reproduction Prints.
Original Painting (NOT CURRENTLY FOR SALE) 90cm x 120 cm Acrylic and Spray Acrylic on Canvas
ABOUT THE PAINTING
I stumbled across Alwyn’s journey half way through his historical walk aka The Message Stick Walk. Wow, I thought what an absolutely amazing and significant and incredibly important journey he is on. How how can I support ?
In May 2018, Alwyn Doolan began one of the most extensive walks Australia has ever known. He walked over 8600km from Cape York, through Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania and back to Canberra. A proud Gooreng Gooreng / Wakka Wakka man, he walked carrying three Message Sticks , to deliver them to the newly elected Australian Government. The Message Stick is an ancient communication tool that has been utilised in Aboriginal culture for millennia. The three Message Sticks that he carried specifically represent the three stages of Australia’s story, creation , colonisation and healing. By delivering these to Parliament and by them receiving these Sticks, the new government would be acknowledging the need to begin discussions to develop reconciliation and healing with Aboriginal Australians.
But did the new government meet with Alywn? No they did not. Will they see him now?
As an artist I had always dreamt of entering a national portrait prize, but finding that right person and the right reasoning behind a painting had always held me back, until I stumbled across Alwyn and The Message Stick Walk. And I thought, if by some chance my painting wins, I can split the winnings with him to support his journey, because I believe as a nation we must all work together as one to bring real change and healing.
As an artist I tell stories through my art, so here’s an artist trying to put into words a description of my art work.
Combining spray acrylic and acrylic I have captured a portrait of Alwyn with a reflection in his eyes that portrays my interpretation of his historical walk. Speaking with him, I wanted to showcase the lands that he saw, the energy that he felt and reasoning behind the walk. If you look close to the eyes you will see these four aspects.
Alwyn, holding the Message Sticks, showcasing how one man, taking one step at a time, can make such an impact on society through his own strength, courage, belief and determination to be a leader of change for Australia's First Nations People.
The Australian outback on the left, rich red dirt and green trees, full of life and home to generations for thousands of years. Symbolising the Message stick of Creation.
Parliament House to the right with burnt dead trees and bush fire smoke, symbolising the destruction of land since colonisation, reflecting on the conversation I had with Alwyn regarding lands that he passed through that have been cleared and mined and as a result are now sick. As he said, if the land is sick, so are our people. Symbolising the Message Stick of Colonisation.
And then there is the river that runs through the entire eye image, symbolising the song lines and rivers that Alwyn described to me as an aspect that he felt throughout his whole journey. They are still there, they are still strong and we must begin to listen. Symbolising the Message stick of Healing.
“Will You See Me Now?”
Unfortunately the painting didn’t make the cut in these portrait awards, but will be entered into further art awards.
Alywn and I are releasing a limited edition Fine Art Reproduction print run of the painting, 50 of two different sizes. These prints are on the highest quality print reproduction paper, unframed, and all hand signed and numbered, with a certificate of authenticity.
And there you have it “ Will You See Me Now?”, my interpretation of Alwyn’s historic walk, an artwork I am honoured to have painted and for a cause I strongly believe in. We must work as one and listen to the knowledge of Australia’s First Nation People, and only then can we move forward as a nation.