Translation: No shame.
Photograph by Russell James. Collaborative art by Lance Chadd (AUS).
4’11” x 6’4” archival pigment ink printed on rag cotton with acrylic and ochre applications.
This painting is where I met my own inhibitions. I felt restrained, blocked suppressed in trying to fit my own expression of inhibition with an image that is conceptually foreign to my understanding of that word. The dictionary definition of Inhibition states: ‘The weakening of a learned response usually as a result of extinction or because of the presence of a distraction stimulus.’ This reminds me of our culture and its near extinction. The distraction of Whadjella stimulus, Whadjella systems and ways. Monetary values devoid of land based spirituality. Destructive of our Mother (land), foreign and destructive to my people. It reminds me of Aboriginal people trying to fit into mainstream. Into a Whadjella world. We try and fit in terms of acceptance and equality and having the same kind of rights as everybody else. Access and respect as everybody else. In our history, people like the famous Aboriginal artist ‘Albert Nammatjirra’ was restricted from buying land or buying a house or travelling to his own exhibition , and so restrictions are major ‘conditioned’ inhibitions for Aboriginal people in that sense. Things are changing. Art as an uncensored medium, is freedom and a powerful expression, with potential that can change things for the better in all kinds of areas and then it’s a great thing! It’s a different voice and smart Psychology, a way of getting things across without building walls straight away, in fact breaking down those barriers.
The minimal amount I have painted on this image, of ‘Wirin’ ( spirit figure ) and the land, representing culture, clearly expresses my own inhibitions and restrictions.