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Phyllis Thomas

My stolen sisters from Gija country
ochre and natural pigments on linen
180 x180 cm
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This story is about the Stolen Generations from the East Kimberley region of Western Australia, and the journey through the landscape to Oombulgurri that was the fate of two young Gija girls.

Phyllis Thomas was born in a place called Riya, on the Turner River, south-east of Purnululu (the Bungle Bungles). Her sister Stella and her cousin-sister Molly-Go were taken away by gardiya (whitefellas) when they were fairly young. They would take kids from stations and bring them to Moola Boola station, which was like a holding place for the stolen children. So, the two girls were taken to Oombulgurri (top section of the painting), where they stayed for good, married and had children.

Warmun Art Centre, Gija Contempory Art, Western Australia, 2018