Scots call for help hunting down Australia’s ‘stolen children’ art work

People are being encouraged to join the hunt for artwork created by the children of the “Stolen Generation” in Australia ahead of an exhibition of their work in Scotland.

The judges are hoping to find more artwork created by First Nations children of Australia, who were forcibly removed from their families in the 1940s in hopes of reconnecting the industry. work with their relatives.

A collection of collections created by Aboriginal children, who were interned at the remote Carrolup settlement in Western Australia in the 1940s, will be on display at the University of Glasgow Memorial Chapel from June 6. October to November 10 was exhibited in Manchester.

People are being encouraged to check their cabinets and lofts for similar paintings, which can be in pastels or pastels, and which may show Australian landscapes and animals such as kangaroos.


Kathleen Toomath (left) and Michelle Broun hope to find more artwork (Sam Proctor/PA)

John Curtin Gallery Carrolup curator Kathleen Toomath, whose late mother, Alma, was the last surviving Carrolup artist, said reconnecting missing artworks with the artists’ relatives The child artist will represent a powerful reconciliation step for past wrongs.

“Imagine if your grandmother or grandfather, whom you have never met and whose photographs are not known, created one of these pieces during a deeply traumatic time in history,” she said. of your family.

“Finding something so precious and rare, a piece of art so historically significant that it can almost take you back to that time and offer a glimpse into their worldview. , will be of great significance.

“That piece of art may be the only physical connection a family has with their ancestors, so it is an important part of the reconciliation process and a tangible step toward making it work. for a better tomorrow through the power of art.”


Goreng Noongar Elder Ezzard Flowers in 2015, with artwork by Barry Loo (Brad Coleman / John Curtin Gallery / PA_

This is the first time this selection of artworks has returned to the UK in 70 years, after Florence Rutter, founding president of the Soroptimist Club in London, first met the artists and arranged exhibitions in Edinburgh, Glasgow and other cities in England during the 1950s.

She realized the importance of the works after visiting Carrolup in 1949, where teachers Noel and Lily White found their way into children’s hearts through art.

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Chris Malcolm, Director of the John Curtin Gallery, is appealing to communities, organizations and people across the country to help locate any other missing works created by Carrolup’s children.

He said: “We are encouraging people across Scotland to help with our global search for these culturally significant drawings by checking their lofts, cabinets and households for any. similar works of art.

“Important clues people should look for include the use of chalk or pastels on paper and many depictions of Australian landscapes and wildlife, including kangaroos.

“We look forward to seeing people coming to see the new exhibition in Glasgow, which tells this incredible story.”

Since 2013, the John Curtin Gallery at Australia’s Curtin University, in partnership with Indigenous elders, has been curator of Herbert Mayer’s Carrolup Artwork Collection, providing insight into the landscape. the lives and experiences of the children now known as The Thieves of Australia. Generations.

John Curtin Gallery’s Australian First Nations curator Michelle Broun said: “As curator of art time, I am momentarily in the children’s world. .

“As the daughter of a stolen child, the children’s artwork and their stories resonated with me.

“I understand the pain on the children’s faces and hear their voices in their letters, but the drawings show this pain and speak for our humanity.

“Child artists have overcome adversity through art – they are the heroes of the exhibition.”

Anyone globally who thinks they may have found one of Carrolup’s children’s art pieces can contact the gallery via website. Scots call for help hunting down Australia’s ‘stolen children’ art work

Fry Electronics Team

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