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Moby Dickens



Blak Douglas


1970 –

Language group: Dunghutti, South-east region

  • Details

    Other Title
    Karla Dickens
    Place where the work was made
    Sydney New South Wales Australia
    Cultural origin
    Dhungutti, Southeast region
    Media category
    Materials used
    synthetic polymer paint on canvas
    300.0 x 200.0 x 3.3 cm
    Signature & date

    Signed l.r., synthetic polymer paint, 'B'. Not dated.

    Purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Art Collection Benefactors 2022
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Blak Douglas

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Blak Douglas

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Blak Douglas is a renowned Sydney artist who has had a long association with the Art Gallery of New South Wales from his participation in children’s programs to being a former ‘performer in residence’. He is a regular finalist in the Archibald prize with portraits of Sydney elders Uncle Max Eulo in 2015, Uncle Roy Kennedy in 2018, and Aunty Esme Timbery in 2019. In 2020 he was also a finalist with a portrait of Dujuan Hoosan, an Arrernte and Garrawa youth.

    This powerful work, his 2022 entry for the Archibald prize, speaks to Douglas’ desire to honour other New South Wales Aboriginal artists, but also serves to document his and these artists’ concerns in a time of global unrest due to the climate crisis. Purposefully depicting Wiradjuri artist Karla Dickens in an ominous non-descript scene where it is hard to deduce if she is standing in rising or receding floodwaters, Douglas highlights Dickens’ resilience, strength and defiance. Here Dickens’ gaze is harsh and her eyes are full of fury, reflecting her rage following the devastating Lismore flooding of February 2022. Throughout her career, Dickens has often spoken about the silence and inactivity of Australia’s powerbrokers and general population regarding climate change. She has been actively involved in green politics, starting out with Greenpeace some thirty years ago.

    Of his work, Douglas commented: “My renowned flat-bottomed clouds number 14 here, and are indicative of the number of days and nights that the first deluge lasted. The story of Noah’s Ark comes to mind. One would think that a devoutly religious Prime Minister might take significantly more note of the community’s desperate call for assistance.”

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

Other works by Blak Douglas