Blog

23/01/2019
Parnell Dempster's Down to Drink adorns a wall at the 45th Annual Exhibition of the Pastel Society in London, 1951. Mrs Rutter proudly discusses the drawing with Mr and Mrs Richter. Mary Durack Miller Collection, J. S. Battye Library of West Australian History, 1951.

Interview With Doris Flatt: Part 1

Doris Flatt was one of the daughters of the 71-year old Englishwoman Florence Rutter, the self-appointed ‘ambassador’ to the Carrolup child artists. Over 100 years old at the time of this interview (May 2006), Doris had strong memories of her mother discussing the Carrolup artworks with great and […]
22/01/2019
Children of Carrolup with the first superintendent Mr W. J. Freyer. He was forced to resign in 1918 for chaining one of the young girls by her neck to a bed as a punishment.

Mr Neville: Removing Aboriginal Children From Their Family

This is the third of a series of blogs that considers the social, political and cultural context existing prior to our story of the Aboriginal child artists of Carrolup. I focus on the policy of removing Aboriginal people from their families, which resulted in what we now know […]
17/01/2019
Trainees Tina Hansen (left) and Cora Farmer (right) videotape one of the early examples of Carrolup children's art held in the Berndt Museum for a film that was being made by John Stanton for the Marribank Community. Uniview, The University of Western Australia, 5/4, pp. 1-2, July 1986.

Noongar Trainees: Marribank Cultural Centre Project

Yesterday, I wrote a blog about John Stanton’s 40+ Year involvement with Carrolup. In that blog, I described the collaboration between the Marribank Family Centre and the Berndt Museum of Anthropology (of which John was Director), The Carrolup Project, that received generous funding from the Australian Bicentennial Authority. In […]
16/01/2019
Blackboys by Revel Cooper, watercolour on paper, 38 x 57cm, 1964. Purchased from George Abdullah, Perth, 1965. Berndt Museum of Anthropology. [WU3269]

Carrolup: John Stanton’s 40-Year Journey

As my colleague John Stanton is away on holiday in New Zealand, I thought I’d take this opportunity to blog about John’s association with Carrolup for a period of over 40 years. That’s a serious, long-standing interest and commitment! The initial large section of this blog come from […]
14/01/2019
Proclamation of Prohibited Area issued under the 1905 Aborigines Act.

The Control of Aboriginal People: 1905 Aborigines Act

It is essential to consider the social, political and cultural context in Western Australia to fully appreciate the Carrolup Story and the achievements of the Aboriginal child artists of Carrolup. We have devoted early chapters of our forthcoming book – Aboriginal Child Artists of Carrolup – to this […]
11/01/2019
Imagined corroboree by Reynold Hart, watercolour and ink on paper, 25 x 30cm, c.1948. Stan, Melvie and Gael Phillips Collection, 1947 - 65, Berndt Museum of Anthropology. [WU7255]

The Corroboree Artworks

A previous blog highlighted the child artists’ fascination with the liminality of dusk, the period between day and night. The night was also a time for ceremony. This is depicted most evocatively in, for example, Reynold Hart’s ‘Dancing Figures’, or his deceptively titled ‘Imagined Corroboree’—deceptive, in that this was […]
10/01/2019

The Impact of Colonisation on Aboriginal People

The Story of the Aboriginal child artists of Carrolup must be told within the social, political and cultural context of what was occurring in Western Australia during the 1940s and 1950s, as well as at earlier times. The first chapters of our forthcoming book – due out later […]
08/01/2019
Hunters by Revel Cooper, pastel on paper, 29 x 38cm, c.1948. Stan, Melvie and Gael Phillips Collection, 1947 – 65, Berndt Museum of Anthropology. [WU7304]

The Liminality of Dusk

The Carrolup child artists appear to have been particularly fascinated with the liminality of dusk. That is, the period between day and night when the light gradually fades to become night; when the breeze settles and becomes stillness personified, and when colours become simply black and white. When […]
07/01/2019
My daughter Natasha meets colleague and close friend John Stanton for the first time. I was thrilled to see them chatting away like old friends over lunch.

Happy New Year… And Some Reflections

It’s good to be back after a long break for the Christmas and New Year holidays. I would first like to wish you all the very best for 2019. I know that John would say the same if he was here. At present, he’s in New Zealand spending […]
14/12/2018
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?

Thank You, A Break, Best Wishes and…

The website has been running for just over a month now and we’ve uploaded blog postings on all but three days. Our major aims in this initial period have been to: enhance awareness of the Story of Carrolup to the public and make people aware of our initiative, […]
13/12/2018
The building that was the Matron's House at Carrolup Native Settlement. Photographer: John Stanton, 26th November 2018.

Our Visit to Carrolup

John and I visited Carrolup—or Marribank as it later became—on the 26th November 2018, on our way down to Albany from Perth. We walked around and explored some of the buildings, reflecting on what had gone on before when Aboriginal children were taken from their parents and held […]
12/12/2018
Down to Drink by Parnell Dempster, pastel on paper, 58.6 x 76.4cm, 1949. The Herbert Mayer Collection of Carrolup Artwork, John Curtin Gallery, Curtin University.

Guests See ‘Koorah Coolingah’, Katanning Art Gallery, 2006

Following the Official Opening at the ‘Koorah Coolingah: Children Long Ago’ exhibition at Katanning on 24th February 2006, members of the community, and the wider public, were allowed into the Katanning Art Gallery for the first time. Many had wanted to come in earlier in the week when we […]
10/12/2018
Ezzard Flowers speaking at the Official Opening of Koorah Coolingah exhibition, Katanning, with MC Norelle Jacobs in the background, 24th February 2006. Berndt Museum of Anthropology, The University of Western Australia.

Ezzard Flowers speaking at the Official Opening of ‘Koorah Coolingah’

Ezzard Flowers, who travelled to Colgate University in America with Athol Farmer and John Stanton, reminds us of the impact of the return to the South-West of some of the ‘lost’ collection of Carrolup children’s art on Noongar culture. It was, indeed, an emotional occasion. Indeed, the event was […]
09/12/2018
John Stanton (Berndt Museum) [Left Front] with Howard Morphy (Australian National University), who discovered the ‘lost’ works at Colgate University, watch the Official Opening of the ‘Koorah Coolingah’ exhibition at Katanning Art Gallery, 24th February 2006. Berndt Museum of Anthropology, The University of Western Australia.

Homecoming of Carrolup Artworks, 2006

Colgate University in up-state New York seemed a very long way, and a very long time ago, as Howard and I watched the Opening Ceremony at Katanning, a welcome homecoming to the 20 artworks that had been loaned by the Picker Gallery to the Perth International Arts Festival […]
07/12/2018
The children's dormitories at Carrolup today. Photograph taken by John Stanton on 26th November 2018.

Institutionalisation of the Carrolup children

In recent blog posting, David revealed the memories of Carrolup artist Revel Cooper about life on Carrolup in the first half of 1940s, when the children were ‘running wild’. In his most recent posting, he described Revel’s memories of the time when Mrs Elliot was teacher between 1945 […]
05/12/2018
Photographs of three of the Carrolup boys. Sunday Times , 7th July 1945. Retrieved from Trove, National Library of Australia.

The Arrival of Mrs Elliot at Carrolup

In my last blog, I wrote how Michael Liu and I found a ‘letter’ written by Carrolup artist Revel Cooper in 1960, which described how the children were ‘running wild’ at Carrolup Native Settlement during the first half of the 1940s. Revel went on to say: After the […]
03/12/2018
First page of a description of life at Carrolup Native Settlement written by Carrolup artist Revel Cooper in 1960. Doreen Trainor Collection, J. S. Battye Library of West Australian History. [Click the image to see the full page. The letter continued, '... were of the very lowest standards' on the second page.]

Running Wild – Revel Cooper’s Memories of Carrolup

When close friend and filmmaker Michael Liu and I were researching the life of Carrolup artist Revel Cooper, we came across an important ‘letter’ he wrote that was in the Doreen Trainor Collection at Battye Library. Revel wrote his memories of Carrolup Native Settlement from the time he […]
02/12/2018
The Golden Road by an unidentified child artist from Carrolup, c1949. The image is from the Colgate University Flickr account described below. The drawing is part of the The Herbert Mayer Collection of Carrolup Artwork, John Curtin Gallery, Curtin University.

The ‘Lost’ Florence Rutter Carrolup Collection

We’ve been thrilled with the response we’ve had from community members about The Carrolup Story website, and their delight in looking again at a selection of the Carrolup children’s art we have shown. However, we’ve just realised that we haven’t let everybody know that a number of works […]
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