Blak Douglas

Boong!

150 x 150 cm

Acrylic on canvas
$ 6000

The derogatory term 'Boong' originated from the name of the first recognised Aboriginal mediator to the colony Boongaree of the 'Botany Bay' tribe. The irony lays in the sad reality that, 130 years post Gallipoli, the term was still being used as a reference by racist white australians. (Sadder still that it's still occasioned TODAY).

Ironically also, was the conscription of first nations peoples here, to fight the conflicts of the empire on behalf of the King. A fresh colony who’d so callously introduced warfare by means of arms upon the original occupants of this continent. The stories prevail of the societal rejection of the Black returned service - peoples upon their return to this blooming British colony. Where the street parades and town square celebrations weren't to include the Boongs. In fact, most were admonished and advised that... what happened on the front, stayed on the front. The camaraderie there, was a convenience that would only lead to an embarrassment back 'home'.

This is why I've chosen to satirise this abhorrent treatment of Aboriginal return service - persons in this bold and poignant 'POP ART' style. Having grown up with Looney Toons (cartoons) I distinctly recall the moments when the gun being pointed at another character would humorously ‘BANG’ a flag out of the barrel rather than fire a bullet. Given the generic fascination of creating war monuments en mass here, and mostly consisting of canons or guns, I thought it apt to characterise the phallic notion this way. The metaphor is this. Whilst sentiment and nostalgia is celebrated annually through 'remembrance' as per ANZAC DAY etc... the continued denial of the FRONTIER WARS upon Aboriginal land / the maltreatment of the Blacks whom fought for 'this country' exists...

‘AUSTRALIANS’... you're really only shooting blanks.