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National Museum of Australia

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Collection Explorer


'Meeting Place: Spirits of the Past and Present', Gordon Syron, 2005


'Meeting Place: Spirits of the Past and Present', Gordon Syron, 2005

Object information

Physical description

An oil painting on linen showing a scene of black coloured human figures [Aboriginal people] with placards protesting outside a yellow and red building that has a sign reading 'PARLIAMENT HOUSE' attached to the the surrounding fence.

Statement of significance

This collection comprises a series of works from the Black Fella's Dreaming Gallery purchased by the Museum in 2009. It includes one painting each by Yondee (Shane Howard), Gordon Hookey, and Adam Hill and nine works by Gordon Syron, both painter and founder and sole collector of the Gallery. Gordon and his partner Elaine Syron continue to own the remainder of works collected for the Gallery, and advocate for a permanent "keeping place" to house this unique collection of over 400 contemporary Aboriginal artworks gathered over the past four decades.

The importance of this collection lies in its alternative view of Australian history and society, re-owned and re-painted by Aboriginal artists who express a savage and satirical commentary on issues ranging from "invasion" to land rights, alcoholism, custody, racism and the Church. The sense of injustice is tempered by the humour used in expressing such opinions, with some of the works allowing the visitor to actively engage in a transfer of roles of Aboriginal people and the viewer, like Syron's own 'The Black Bastards Are Coming no. 3', reversing the roles of first contact.

Object information

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