Parnell Dempster

03/11/2021

Parnell Dempster Writes to Mrs Rutter

After Mrs Florence Rutter returned to the UK after her second visit to Carrolup Native Settlement, she received letters from 22 of the Aboriginal children. In one of those letters, Parnell Dempster described how the settlement supervisor, Mr Sully, had stopped Noel White taking the boys to the […]
14/10/2021

John Stanton Interview, Part 1

Here are three film clips from the interview I did with John Stanton about the Aboriginal child artists of Carrolup on the 6th of October 2017. Why the Carrolup Story is so Important: Teacher Noel White created a different atmosphere at Carrolup so that the Aboriginal children, who […]
21/09/2021

Facilitating Healing at Carrolup, Part 2

I continue my article focused on the process of healing that occurred at Carrolup Native Settlement. These sections are taken from my eBook Connection: Aboriginal Child Artists Captivate Europe. ‘Prior to November 1946, the children had been closeted away on the Settlement. However, they were taken to the […]
07/04/2021

Boans Exhibition of Carrolup Drawings, Part 2

In a previous blog, I described how the Carrolup children’s art was exhibited in the ‘Crystal Section’ of Boans, the largest department store in Perth, from October 21 to October 24, 1947, thanks to the initiative of teacher John Stokes. The exhibition of over 400 Carrolup drawings was opened by Western […]
22/09/2020

Mrs Rutter in England, Early 1951

Today, I thought I’d try a novel approach to help me decide what I should write about from our book Connection: Aboriginal Child Artists Captivate Europe for this blog. I had an online random number generator select a number from 1 to 65 and I had to chose […]
18/03/2020

Boans Exhibition of Carrolup Drawings

In an earlier blog, I described the early public acclaim the children of Carrolup received for their drawings and other work. John P Stokes, who had been editor of the Lord Forrest Centenary Booklet, in which five of the Carrolup children had their work included, asked the Department […]
01/02/2020

70th Anniversary: A Special Visit

Seventy years ago yesterday, Mrs Florence Rutter and her friend Vera Hack arrived for their two and a half day visit of Carrolup Native Settlement. This visit was not only special in its own right, but it triggered a series of important events over the following two years, […]
28/01/2020

Carrolup and Florence Rutter, Part 1

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 […]
10/09/2019

Little Black Fingers

Mrs Florence Rutter, a 71-year old Englishwoman, visited Carrolup twice—in July 1949 and January/February 1950. She returned to England soon after her second visit, having received permission from the West Australian government to exhibit and sell the Carrolup children’s artworks (mainly the boys’ drawings). A Trust Fund had […]
22/08/2019

Walking Alongside As Equals

In my last Healing blog Do Things With Us, Not To Us: Chris Sarra, I posted the words of one of the country’s leading educators talking about the interaction between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. Here are three key paragraphs: ‘I can assure you that we as Aboriginal people […]
06/08/2019

Carrolup Child Artists: Competition and Encouragement

Soon after we started our Carrolup project, I interviewed my colleague John Stanton about a variety of elements of the story. In this film clip, John describes how the boys were rather secretive whilst doing their drawings. However, once they had finished a drawing, there was a collegial […]
30/07/2019

1948 Carrolup School Football Team… and Art Display

Last year, I posted a blog about the ‘never ever beaten’ [1] Carrolup School Football team, describing their trip to Perth in September 1949 where they twice beat Thomas Street School at Subiaco. Here is what we know about the Carrolup School football team from before 1949: There […]
16/07/2019

Child Artists of Carrolup: Reflections

Mary Durack Miller, in association with Florence Rutter, wrote a book about the Aboriginal child artists of Carrolup entitled, Child Artists of the Australian Bush, which was published in June 1952. Florence Rutter met the child artists through her two visits to Carrolup in 1949 and 1950 and exhibited their artworks […]
19/06/2019

Meeting Parnell Dempster

I first met Parnell (‘Parnie’) Dempster in mid-1985 at the town of Williams, when I was commencing the Carrolup Project. He was living there at the time. Pat Nunn at the Marribank Family Centre had told me that he was one of only two surviving child artists of […]
04/06/2019

Silencing the Doubters

In June 1948, three of the Carrolup boys caused a sensation in the south coast town of Albany. Here is what happened, as described in our forthcoming book The Aboriginal Child Artists of Carrolup. “Education Inspector Charles ‘Sammy’ Crabbe organises a Convention of Departmental Teachers in Albany in […]
07/05/2019

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

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 […]
10/04/2019

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 […]
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