(Australia 1945 – )
'On Sacred Land' 1983-84
1 inch video, 18 minutes
John Hughes with Peter Kennedy
Animation: John Hansen
Warning to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers: this film may contain images of deceased persons.
'On Sacred Land' is the moving image component of an installation work designed by Peter Kennedy1 and featuring a large 'history painting' ('On Sacred Land', 1983-86, oil on canvas, 270 x 840 cm, 1983-86).
Drawing on 'On Sacred Ground' (Howes, 1980), a film on the Yungngora people's blockade of mining at Noonkanbah, Western Australia, 'Ship of Dreams' documentation of a school performance in Broome (1981), still photographs of tableaus directed by Peter Kennedy, that reference figures deployed in Kennedy's painting, 19th century archival studio photographs depicting Aboriginal people, redeployment of images referencing drawings from 19th century indigenous artist Tommy McCrae and other material, this work critically engages representations of 'Aboriginality' in a context alert to the 1980s contestation of land rights and indigenous self-determination.
1. University of Tasmania, (1986) 'Istoria: Peter Kennedy with John Hughes – Selected Works 1978-1986' (exhibition catalogue)