Whiteman You Are Surrounded

1988   150 x 389 cms  NFS

When I arrived to live in Alice Springs during the early 1980s there was an intriguing graffiti painted on the colour-bond cladding that girded the eastern precincts of the town. It read, 'Whiteman You Are Surrounded'. It's a caption that still resonates, encapsulating the jettisoned whitefella mind-set. The vast tracts of sparsely occupied estate. The sense of 'wilderness' that separates this out post from coastal enclaves. All that 'out there on the other side of the fence' business which is by and large the indigenous province that settler culture chooses to ignore or disrespect. I borrowed a gun and asked the men if they'd assent to posing for my idea of them stalking the low hills which form a natural barrier to their camp and the built environment. At the time, I was housed in a government flat slap bang against that fenceline.