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While stranded aboard the HMS Sirius in Sydney Harbour awaiting repairs, midshipman George Raper worked on a volume of watercolours ‘capturing’ the avian wonders of the new world. Among his captives is the White Hawke, painted around 1789. In 2018, stuck in my flat in Bondi awaiting a Woolies delivery, I decapitated Raper’s Hawke, recoloured its body fluorescent yellow as a reminder of colonisation’s legacy, and renamed it Future Hawke. In my hands, this bird of prey becomes the past prophet of a lost future. Its call heralds more than 200 years of ‘hawking’; of loss and theft. Oh future, what have we done to you?
Joan Ross, 2018