(Australia 1934 – )
14.0 x 18.0 cm platemark; 16.5 x 21.0 cm sheet
Roy Kennedy, like many Aboriginal artists, came to art-making late in life. As he says, "I am living proof that you're never too old to learn". Kennedy studied painting and later etching at the Eora Centre in inner city Sydney. Etching is his preferred medium and one that has revealed his strength of vision as an artist. Kennedy's work shares many similarities with other successful Eora graduates, such as HJ Wedge and Elaine Russell. Like these artists, Kennedy has forged a distinctive style that contributes to the growing strength of Indigenous art practice in urban centres.
Many of the senior artists working in the cities reflect on their younger lives growing up on missions in regional areas. This series of prints recall Kennedy's life on Police Paddock Mission, where his family were moved when the mission his mother was born on, Warangesda, was closed in 1925. Both missions were at Darlington Point, on the Murrumbidgee River, south west of Sydney.
Kennedy provides stories that accompany his images allowing the viewer a personal insight into the importance of the scene depicted:
"'My memories remain': Grandfather would sit and tell me and my brother about things which he has to do to be a man among the elders and so on but he moved us on until another day and keep telling a little every time we would sneak down to his hollow tree he was living in".
Roy Kennedy’, How soon they forget: the art of Roy Kennedy, ‘Works, pg. 49-52, Australian Capital Territory, 2009, 49.