A Common Pain

A Common Pain

Description

I humbly came to the conclusion reading and researching The Native Institute that maybe it was designed by people who honestly appeared to have the
Good Intentions of the Natives in mind. Even though i believe this, it hasn’t made it any easier to understand.
That’s when the use of the bibles came in to play – with a symbol of goodness and rightfulness, i drilled holes through leather covers and old pages.
Again i chose sharp objects, to pierce through a symbol of goodness taking aim at compulsory church visits, bible study’s and missionaries that were at large
part of the civilisation process in The Native Institute. Just as the hankies and tacks draw on contrast and conflict of cultures i worked along the same vein with
the bibles. They are uncomfortable to hold in your hand. This time not only using sharp little tacks that draw blood under foot, I also used porcupine quills
and snake skins, acknowledging the denied culture of the first Australians.
After showing the bibles to a friend, I was sent through the story of Piggiebillah, the Porcupine (the story in short):
The porcupine was once a man, the others in his tribe became suspicious as many people kept disappearing, then one night a young woman came
across him in the dark, Piggebillah sprang out, and plunged his spear into her body. The old man dragged her off the track, ate her limbs and hid the rest of
her body away for a later meal. He had been surviving as a cannibal, after a secret meeting was held it was decided that Piggebillah must be killed.
His tribes men gathered silently round him as he was asleep, then they attacked him with spears. Piggebillah laid still but he did not die. He dragged himself
into the deeper shadows and fell down the hole of the Trap-door Spider; Murga Muggai.  Piggebillah stayed in the hole until his wounds were healed yet there
was one thing he could not do, he was unable to pull the spears out of his body. Piggebillah had turned into a Porcupine, the little animal that scratches for
ants because he cannot eat other food, and burrows underground to escape from his enemies.
This beautiful dreaming story and the use of the porcupine quails in my bibles talked to me of punishment, disappearance, pain, scaring and transformation.

Artwork Details

  • Collection:
  • Medium:
  • When was this created: 2013
  • Location: Blacktown Arts Centre
  • Limited Edition: one off
  • Width: 12cm mm
  • Height: 8cm mm