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11/05/2019
A pastel by Reynold Hart donated to the Berndt Museum by Timothy Dauth. This is likely The Red Road which was drawn in 1950 and was purchased at the 1957 Boans exhibition organised by the W.A. Native Welfare Council (Inc.).

Workshop Presentation Sparks Painting Gift

When I commenced the Carrolup Project back in 1985, one of its purposes was to flush out surviving drawings and paintings by the child artists of Carrolup. Media coverage in the Great Southern Herald, the Katanning newspaper, assisted in this task. When the Noongar trainees Tina Hansen and […]
10/05/2019
Explorer’s massacre by Parnell Dempster, 1948, ink and watercolour on paper, 19 x 24cm. Stan, Melvie and Gael Phillips Collection, 1947 – 65, Berndt Museum of Anthropology.

The Carrolup Story: Six-Month Anniversary

It’s hard to believe that six months have passed since we officially launched The Carrolup Story website on the 10th November 2018, the 85th birthday of Noelene White, daughter of Carrolup School teachers Noel and Lily White. Looking back, we feel that we’ve achieved a good deal of what we […]
07/05/2019
A pastel by Parnell Dempster adorns a wall at the Pastel Society in London in 1951, proudly talked about by Mrs. Rutter.

Carrolup Art Reaches Europe

Just a reminder that you can find links to a summary of the Carrolup Story in 12 parts here. These summaries start with the impact of colonisation on Aboriginal people and end with the ‘missing’ Mrs Rutter collection of Carrolup art being permanently returned to Noongar Boodja (Country) […]
30/04/2019
Some of the Carrolup young artists. Front row: Reynold Hart (Far Left), Parnell Dempster (Middle) and Revel Cooper (Far Right). Back row, 2nd Left: Barry Loo. Do you know who the other boys are?

Noelene White’s Memories: The Art

Noelene White, daughter of Carrolup teacher Noel White, has worked closely with us on our project. In fact, John and Noelene have known each other for nearly 35 years. In an earlier blog, we included a section from the chapter Noelene White’s Memories in our forthcoming book which focused on […]
22/04/2019
Pastel drawing book of Edith Wallam, 28.5 x 22cm. The Myrtle K Benn Collection, 1947. Click image to see the whole front cover.

The Pastel Drawing Books

To begin with, the child artists used whatever pencils, pastel crayons and scraps of paper that were available at the Carrolup Native Settlement School. As the enthusiasm they expressed for their art was rapidly apparent, Noel White requested better materials from the Department of Education. Government Issue pastel […]
17/04/2019
A pastel drawing, 28.5 x 22cm, by Dulcie Penney from one of her government-issued schoolbooks. The Myrtle K Benn Collection, 1947.

Did the Carrolup girls draw, too? Yes!

People often ask me, ‘Did the girls at Carrolup draw, we only hear about the boys?’ There is a lot to say about this, much of it reflecting the punitive control the then Department of Native Affairs had over Aboriginal people’s lives, including those of the children. When […]
10/04/2019
A pastel drawing, 28.5 x 22cm, by Keith Indich from one of his government-issued schoolbooks. The Myrtle K Benn Collection, 1947.

Our Visit to Kojonup, March 2019

On 21st March 2019, John Stanton and I, along with my close friend Mike Scott, travelled down to  Kojonup to meet local farmer and long-term shire councillor John Benn at The Kodja Place. Mike and I, along with filmmaker friend Phil Strachan, had first met John two years ago […]
10/04/2019
The frieze below the ceiling in the westernmost dormitory at Carrolup. Photographed by John Stanton (The Carrolup Story), 27th November 2018.

The Dormitory Frieze

One of the most remarkable artefacts surviving at Carrolup/Marribank today is one element of a frieze that encircled one of the bedrooms in the westernmost of the two children’s dormitories—the left one viewed from the front of the buildings. According to Carrolup artist Parnell Dempster, the frieze comprised […]
02/04/2019
Photograph of Tony Davis from ABC Great Southern, 27th November 2015.

Tony Davis, A Carrolup Story Advisor

One of the great pleasures I’ve had since starting this project several years ago is meeting Tony Davis from Albany. In 2016, I was working very closely with my close friend Michael Liu on a Revel Cooper project. Revel was one of the Carrolup child artists and it […]
27/03/2019
Leaning tree by Milton Jackson, pastel on paper, 41 x 33cm, c.1949. Noel & Lily White Collection, Berndt Museum of Anthropology. [WU7568]

Milton Jackson’s Long Lost Drawing

For Milton Jackson, the last surviving Carrolup child artist, attending the opening of the Colgate University crates in Katanning in 2006 (noted in an earlier posting) with his daughter Merlene Meade brought mixed emotions. His reconnection with an artwork he drew about 55 years earlier also affected all […]
20/03/2019
Mrs Rutter with Prince Rudy Dinah and a group of Carrolup girls. The girl second from the left is Mildred Jones. Photographer: Noel White, 31st July 1949. Noel & Lily White Collection.

Cheryle Jones’s Mother, Mildred Jones, at Carrolup

One of the aims of our project is to connect with families of the Aboriginal children who were at Carrolup. We want them to be able learn about what we have discovered about Carrolup and the people who were there – if they so wish – and hopefully […]
19/03/2019
Angus Wallam (Centre) unscrews the first crate of works from Colgate University, as Milton Jackson (Far Left) and Ezzard Flowers (Mid Right) look on. The ABC’s Message Stick program records the moment. Photograph by John Stanton, 27th February 2006. Courtesy of Berndt Museum of Anthropology, The University of Western Australia.

Carrolup Art Arrives from Colgate University, 2006

There was great excitement in the Katanning Gallery as preparations were made to unscrew the lid of the first of several crates flown out from Colgate University, Hamilton, New York State, for the Perth International Arts Festival exhibition, Koorah Coolingah: Children Long Ago. The crates had sat acclimatising […]
12/03/2019
Department of Native Affairs file on James Cooper, father of Carrolup artist Revel Cooper (p. 1).

Revel Cooper’s Early Life

Revel Cooper became one of the most famous, if not the most famous, of the Carrolup artists. However, he lived a troubled life, despite his success as an artist. Revel spent many years in and out of prison in Western Australia and Victoria. He also suffered from a drinking problem, […]
06/03/2019
Pre-decimal Australian bank notes, Melbourne Mint, 1949.

Were the Children Paid for their Art?

I’m afraid the answer to this question is ‘No’! The child artists were minors at the time, as well as Wards of the State, so they couldn’t receive any money until they turned 21, the age of majority at that time. The funds earned from sales of their […]
27/02/2019
'Katanning celebrates children's art return' article in the Great Southern Herald, March 1st, 2006. [Please click to see the full image]

Katanning Celebrates Children’s Art Return

One of the main reasons we have developed this website and are working on a book about the Aboriginal child artists of Carrolup is that it is essential that this story does not wither away or become distorted. You might think that this is unlikely, but many important […]
26/02/2019
Mrs Rutter with Prince Rudy Dinah and a group of Carrolup girls. The girl second from the left is Mildred Jones. Photographer: Noel White, 31st July 1949. Noel & Lily White Collection.

Mrs Florence Rutter Visits Carrolup

One of the fascinating elements of the Carrolup Story is that the Aboriginal child artists had an ‘ambassador’ for their work, a 71-year old Englishwoman, Mrs Florence Rutter. Mrs Rutter was given permission by the Western Australian government to exhibit and sell the children’s art, first around Australia […]
20/02/2019
Carrolup School, main building. Photographer: David Clark, 16 November, 2016.

Importance of the Carrolup Story

“The first step in re-establishing healthy communities is to acknowledge and understand the impact of the colonial legacy on the lives of Aboriginal people today and the various pathways necessary for healing from historical trauma, using both cultural and contemporary understandings and processes.” Pat Dudgeon, Helen Milroy and […]
13/02/2019
An element of the exhibition depicting ceremony and dance, in the Janet Holmes à Court Gallery, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery. Photographer: John Stanton, 12th February 2019.

Berndt Museum Exhibition ‘Carrolup Revisited’ Opens

The 8th of February saw the formal opening of the Berndt Museum’s new exhibition, Carrolup Revisited, at the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, The University of Western Australia, which will last until the 29th of June. It was an emotional occasion for families of the child artists present, and […]
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