Blog

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 […]
12/02/2019
Exhibition of Carrolup art at Boans department store, The West Australian , 23rd October 1947. The boys from left to right are Claude Kelly, Barry Loo, Reynold Hart and Parnell Dempster. Noel & Lily White Collection.

Early Public Acclaim

How did the drawings of the Aboriginal children of Carrolup first become known to the general public? Here is a summary of some of the initial ‘successes’ of the children, which you can follow in more detail by reading the newspaper article to which we have linked. You […]
06/02/2019
Document showing the expenditure for individual children of Carrolup when they attended the Katanning Show in November 1946. Click on image to see full document.

Carrolup Children at Katanning Show, 1946

Yesterday, I had a very moving and stimulating phone discussion with Dale Jones, whose father Warrick Jones was at Carrolup during the time that Noel White was teacher at the school. I was also communicating on Facebook with Cheryle Jones, whose mother Mildred Jones was there during that […]
01/02/2019
Doris Flatt, one of Florence Rutter's daughters, during her interview with John Stanton at her home in Williton, Somerset, UK, in 2006.

Interview With Doris Flatt: Part 2

Doris Flatt was one of daughters of Florence Rutter, the self-appointed ‘ambassador’ to the Carrolup child artists. Over 100 years old at the time of the interview, Doris had strong memories of her mother’s great enthusiasm for their art, as she was determined to bring it to the […]
29/01/2019
Francis Galton pioneered the concept of eugenics in this laboratory in London in the late 19th century. Flickr/Science Museum London

Racism and Social Darwinism

This is the third of a series of articles focused on the social, political and cultural context in which the story about the Aboriginal child artists of Carrolup took place. [Please note, some people may find the ideas described in this article to be upsetting and offensive]. A […]
26/01/2019
Mr. and Mrs. White with some of the Carrolup boys and the Peet family. Back row: Barry Loo, Mr. Peet, Noel White, Adrian Allen and Mrs. Peet. Middle row: Lily White and the three Peet girls. Front row: Parnell Dempster, unidentified boy and Reynold Hart. Photograph taken in 1949. Noel & Lily White Collection.

Our Carrolup Project

I thought it particularly appropriate today, so-called ‘Australia Day’, that I re-iterate what John and I are doing and what we are hoping to achieve with our Carrolup Project. Seventy years ago, Aboriginal children of Carrolup ‘reached out’ to white society with their beautiful landscape drawings. Their efforts, […]
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 […]
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