ARTWORK DETAILS

Hannah Stewart Bundaberg North State High School
Forgotten truths Drawing
Collection of two framed mixed media drawings and three charcoal sketches on paper

ARTIST STATEMENT

Hidden over time, Bundaberg's true history is awakened as the story of South Sea Islander labourers is unearthed. It is important to acknowledge the truths within our history that connect to our country’s unfortunate past. Brian Courtice’s recognition for the hardship wrought on these people by the Sunnyside farm’s original owner is a testimony to his respect for them. Key images from visiting this farm are sorted into a sequence of events, showing a timeline of Australia’s blackbirding history. Raw, red soil prints of poinciana leaves symbolise the trees Courtice planted to recognise their burial site.

ARTWORK PROCESS

Sunnyside Farm, on the outskirts of Bundaberg, was historically a sugar cane plantation where the original owner used indentured labourers from the South Sea Islands to work the crops. Current owner, Brian Courtice, spoke with me about the atrocities endured by these people who were far from home, and far from safety. Inspired by his stories of bringing forth the truth about the farm's slave history, I created these works to acknowledge Brian's dedication to caring for the memory of the South Sea Islanders.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Hannah Stewart

I am a young regional artist, living in Bundaberg. I enjoy creating art and learning about how it can help communicate stories relevant to me and to people who are close to me.