Samantha Mathews Bundaberg North State High School
Sucrose sympathy Painting
Collection of three canvases, each of different size


A sugary but dreadful past was painfully endured by the South Sea Islanders enslaved in Australia. Evidence lies at Sunnyside farm and sugar plantation, a place where the South Sea Islanders were once enslaved, starved and killed by Caucasian Australians. Weighed down by their tragic past, the South Sea Islanders’ emotions are conveyed in this piece. Surrounding the innocent figure, red and black embodies the dangerous and evil slavers. Visuals are the core of memory and the past represented by the eye. Juxtaposing the bitter treatment of the South Sea Islanders, cane is a stark reminder of these grim events.


This artwork features symbols of the slavery of South Sea Islanders in Australia. Using sugar cane and the colour of the red-orange soil often seen on Australian farms, they link the event to the piece. With brown eyes being a dominant gene in South Sea Islanders and visuals being a core part of memories and the past, it was incorporated into the work. Representing the innocence and lack of being seen as real humans, but rather things to be taken advantage of, the white outline of a South Sea Islander worker centres the piece.


Samantha Mathews

Growing up with an extremely creative mother, this young artist has acquired a deep love for art. Samantha Mathews is a sixteen-year-old aspiring artist, based in the small rural town of Bundaberg in Queensland. She hopes to continue her passion for art and establish a bright and creative future for herself.