'Skullcap' honours Aboriginal servicemen - QAGOMA Blog

Shirley Macnamara lives outdoors Mt Isa in North West Queensland in which she operates a thriving cattle residence with her son, and is also immersed in her family’s cultural and political analysis.

In 2013 Macnamara started to make skullcaps, reminiscent of a customary funerary observe for some Aboriginal girls where their heads were being plastered with white clay or burnt gypsum to form a cap, masking their hair entirely. The donning of this cap could extend for some time soon after a demise, with successive coatings producing it hefty and awkward for the widow or female relative of the deceased.

In Skullcap 2013 (illustrated), Macnamara doesn’t try to imitate the caps uncovered in museum collections and illustrations, rather, she intends to honour Aboriginal gentlemen who represented Australia in two planet wars, never to return to their beloved types. She hopes to make sure that Aboriginal troopers are no for a longer period forgotten. Skullcap is manufactured from loaded, red ochre and is protected with emu feathers, which allude to these made use of to beautify Australian soldiers’ uniform hats (illustrated).

Shirley Macnamara ‘Skullcap’

Shirley Macnamara, Indjalandji/Alyawarr, Australia b.1949  / Skullcap 2013 / Spinifex (Triodia pungens), pink ochre, emu feathers, spinifex resin and synthetic polymer fixative / 14 x 21cm (diam.) / Obtained 2014 with money from Gina Fairfax through the Queensland Artwork Gallery | Gallery of Contemporary Art Foundation / Selection: Queensland Artwork Gallery | Gallery of Present day Art  / © Shirley Macnamara

Gentle Horse slouch hat with emu plume

Light-weight Horse slouch hat with emu plume, Initial Planet War / Accession Variety: RELAWM17393B / Courtesy: Australian War Memorial, Canberra

Acknowledgment of Place
The Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Artwork acknowledges the Regular Proprietors of the land on which the Gallery stands in Brisbane. We fork out regard to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders previous and existing and, in the spirit of reconciliation, admit the huge creative contribution 1st Australians make to the art and lifestyle of this country.

It is customary in several Indigenous communities not to mention the title or reproduce pictures of the deceased. All such mentions and photos on the QAGOMA Blog are with authorization, however, treatment and discretion should really be exercised.

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Highlighted picture depth: Shirley Macnamara Skullcap 2013

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