Alice Wake Bundaberg North State High School
Power, peace and passion Drawing
Collection of four mixed media drawings and these images also projected onto a fig tree


Bundaberg farmer Brian Courtice was spurred into action after discovering the grievous burial site of 29 South Sea Islanders who perished on his farm a century ago. Since then, amending the past and creating peace has been his passion and his goal. My work expresses the knowledge shared by Mr Courtice and explores his passion as a consuming force. Poinciana flowers are symbolic of the peace and amendment he created on his farm to acknowledge these people. Projecting these images as light represents how shared knowledge can illuminate a want for good and peace.


During a visit to Sunnyside farm, I was captivated by the South Sea Islander labourer histories shared by farm owner, Brian Courtice. The passion with which he spoke, and his dedication to unveiling Bundaberg’s slave labour history, formed the basis of my work. Benjamina Ficus leaves and Poinciana flowers symbolise the plight of SSI labourers and Courtice’s uplifting passion. I projected my drawings onto a fig tree, referencing those planted at Sunnyside when labourers were being exploited. This emphasises the location of the installation and the significance of the slave labour trade in Bundaberg.


Alice Wake

As an artist my experiences and interpretations inform the concepts behind my works. My experience living in various small rural and urban communities has shaped my experiences and values. Many of my works reflect this using personally symbolic imagery that would seem small and insignificant to the wider world. As well as being a visual treat, art is a method of challenging audiences with controversy with the intent of making them think or feel. This intellectual or emotional response is the value that people receive from art.