Faith in the System (2022)
Medium : Acrylic on Canvas
Year : 2022
Size : 100 x 75 cm
Prints: Smooth Shil Masterclass 320 gsm paper (Coming soon)
Faith in the System explores the relationship between Indigenous incineration and the exploitation of country through resource extraction. The painting references an archival image of the old Adelaide jail with oil barrels strewn out the front. This image, layered with Roebourne jail (where sixteen year old John Peter Pat’s death was the final trigger for the Royal Commission into Deaths in Custody) and Don Dale Detention Centre (the controversial youth detention centre in northern QLD featured in the Four Corners episode Australia’s Shame) tells a story of unbroken and unchanging over-representation of Indigenous people trapped in and targeted by the justice system.
It was the introduction of the idea of sin that brought with it the moral compass that changed how justice was carried out on our continent. Indigenous justice was a fast and very public carrying out of justice, with a core philosophy of witnessing the expression of grievances and the rehabilitation individuals by the community. Modern colonial systems of justice are very private, convoluted systems with a core philosophy of punishing sinners - who are isolated, ridiculed and retargeted.
The mass incarceration of the custodians of our country makes us question who is really protected by these policies, community or economic interest?