|Search This Site|
Search terms: Prints, color prints, limited edition prints, colour prints, black and white prints
Dedicated to my father the late Stephen Stanley Reys.
"I was born in November 1965, of the Badjala, Darrba language group."
"In a moment of stillness I closely observed the shadows of a nearby tree. As it lay by my feet it seemed to shelter and warm the earth as if it were protecting and guiding the earth in unison with the spirits of our ancestors. As the tree and shadows inevitably had their place in the landscape I felt there too was a place for me, I just had to search for it."
"When I reflect on my journey of self-discovery over the past nine years it seems as though I was destined to come to Perth to learn more about my culture. As you grow up you begin to ask questions about your identity and that’s when things seem to fall into place and make sense. My grandparents didn’t speak openly about their culture because of the pain and hurt they had experienced and lived through as children and as adults. A generation forbidden to speak their language, to practice their culture and told to forget their past. At the age of sixty, my father was just beginning to express his hurt in writing: They got warning the police were coming. The mothers gathered their babies and sent the older ones running. Told to follow the river and never return. The children heard gun shots yells and screams and saw their bark hut burn. They followed the river for three days, three nights, mourned, shivered and feared snake bites. Found by woodcutters who did them no harm. They took them to Shaws Hill to the nearest farm. The owners kept them there worked them without pay. They never saw their parents again to this very day. The words in this poem are so very true, because this is what happened to my mother, two aunties and uncle. I now live in sorrow for what they went through."
"Dad told stories of the difficulties that
indigenous people faced because of their removal from the land and
now it seems that I am destined to tell of some of the difficulties
experienced through its return in my own way.
"On the return flight to Perth I allowed myself
to absorb the echoing screams of terror as the Rabbit Proof Fence
screened as the in-flight movie. Uncontrollable tears were shed in
remembrance of my ancestors and their separation from land and
family whilst the whispers of sense of place and belonging uplifted
my spirits. My experiences thus far have led me to truly appreciate
the land and my culture and the difficulties involved in returning
something so precious that has been missing for so long."
2004 - Where Is my Place of Belonging, Gomboc
Gallery, Middle Swan, WA
2004 - On Track, Contemporary Aboriginal Art
from Western Australia, Perth, WA