New World Car Park

1999, 140 x 90 cms   NFS

New World Car Park is another urban theme. I wanted to feature the mural on the west wall of the Coles Supermarket building. I liked looking at Aboriginal people sitting on the low brick wall before it, seemingly oblivious to the large-scale depictions of Aboriginals at their backs. In my painting, Joseph Hayes lies on the trunk of a car as other family lounge around the vehicles. Harold Hayes, sitting on the railing, points in the opposite direction to the cowboy shown in the history mural behind him. Joseph seemingly responds to the signal from the cowboy.

The mural was painted by Bob and Kay Kessing and documents the settling of Central Australia. The corner we see has in it the arrival of a truck, a soldier asking directions from the black cowboy (who I later discovered at Whitegate was based on one of their relatives!), and the Flying Doctor’s aircraft buzzing over watercolourist Albert Namatjira. He appears to be painting the landscape behind the truck, which suggests he has internalised the landscape now separated from his direct vision - a neat irony on the part of the muralists.