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Myth of the Western man (White man's burden)



Gordon Bennett


1955 – 03 Jun 2014

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Queensland Australia
    Media category
    Materials used
    synthetic polymer paint on canvas
    175.5 x 304.3 cm stretcher
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated u.r. verso, pencil "...1992/ G Bennett 24-12-92".

    Purchased 1993
    20th-century galleries (lower level 1)
    Accession number
    © The Estate of Gordon Bennett

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Gordon Bennett

    Works in the collection


  • About

    1788 Colony established. Flag raised.

    1796 First legally sanctioned massacre of Aboriginal people – Hawkesbury River area – troops sent from Parramatta.

    1799 - First murder trial of five whites for the murder of two Aboriginal boys – found guilty but released – pardoned three years later.

    1802 - Pemulwuy killed and decapitated, his head sent to England.

    1803 - First colony established in Tasmania

    1804 - First massacre of Aboriginal people in Tasmania, at Risdon Cove.

    1813 - Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson cross the Blue Mountains into Wiradjuri land.

    1824 - Massacres of Wiradjuri people.

    1838 - Myall Creek massacre in northern New South Wales. First white man hung – against public opinion and in a retrial after acquitted in first trial – for the murder of Aboriginal people. This creates a climate of secrecy around further murders.

    1857 - Yeeman people (near Roma, Queensland) massacred.

    1861 - Largest massacre of whites by Aboriginal people in reprisal for hundreds of Aboriginal deaths, at Cullin-la-Ringo Station, Queensland by the Kairi people.

    1869 - Tasmania, William Lanney – touted as the last Aboriginal male – died. His grave is looted and skeleton stolen.

    1876 - Tasmania, Truganini – touted as the last Aboriginal female – died. Her skeleton is put on display (against her last wishes) in the Tasmanian Museum.

    1928 - Coniston massacre in the Northern Territory, near Yuendumu. Those responsible vindicated in an official (cover up) inquiry ending 7 February 1929.

    1971 - Yirrkala, Gove Peninsula, land rights thrown out of court.

    1972 - Aboriginal Tent Embassy set up in Canberra. Gough Whitlam elected and Blue Poles by Jackson Pollack purchased for Australia (public outraged).

    1976 - Truganini's bones cremated and her ashes dispersed in the wind.

    1992 - Mabo case is won – Terra Nullius overturned.

    Information provided by the artist.

    © Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2006

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 9 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 14 publications

Other works by Gordon Bennett

See all 7 works