Nganhi Dhar

acrylic on canvas
183 x 92cm

Looking down from above Country at Sofala, Wattle Flat and Bells Falls Gorge. The site of the contentious(from colonial perspective) Bells Falls Gorge Massacre. The colours of the Country alter as the waters flow downstream into the Thuron river to illustrate where the killings took place and the tainting of the water by the blood.

Although I experienced constant emotional discomfort when I was producing this collection due to the emotions coming through, I was physically ill when first sketching this piece to the point where I had to walk away on 3 occasions.

When I realised what was happening (picking up on the grief, trauma, loss, sadness, pain), I attempted to erase the preliminary sketch with limited success. Some of the lines just wouldn’t erase however, as I worked the feelings of distress and nausea lessened.

Finally I turned the canvas upside down in the easel to begin afresh. As soon as I did this, the worst of the feelings diminished, although the feelings remained with me for the entire process.

They remain to this day.

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