TITLE: Man On The Goon
SIZE: 150 cm x 200 cm
MEDIUM: Synthetic polymer on canvas

Was all that money I made las’ year
(for Whitey on the moon?)

How come there ain’t no money here?
(Hm! Whitey’s on the moon)

Y’know I jus’ ‘bout had my fill
(of Whitey on the moon)

I think I’ll sen’ these doctor bills,
Airmail special
(to Whitey on the moon)

1988, Gill Scott-Heron
© CARLIN AMERICA INC

Gil Scott-Heron iconically voiced these lyrics (in part) in his epic song ‘Whitey on the moon’. He was speaking of the standards of living for blacks in the USA however the lyrics are apt for blacks around the world. The very fact that most remote region Aboriginal peoples reside in ‘fourth world conditions’ whilst mining companies, corporations and “Australian” Government military/space agencies pilfer gross amounts of taxpayer revenue in a vain attempt to compete with more ‘grown-up’ nations globally.

When invited to contribute a piece for the 2019 exhibition acknowledging the 50th anniversary of the Apollo lunar exploration, ‘Whitey on the moon’ immediately came into my head. First Nations mobs across the continent have been acknowledged for cultural longevity that far surpasses most others on the planet. Consequently, the ancient wisdom of the senior lore peoples has in many cases been delivered intrinsically via cosmic/astronomical connection and understanding.

Several years ago, the astonishing ‘open observatory’ at Wollemi, NSW was made public for the first time. This revelation came some years after the discovery of the Wollemi Pine, a tree dating from the Jurassic period. Evidently, this age-old place is unique beyond measure. The original inhabitants who were responsible for adding their artistic touch through rock painting and a vast array of petroglyphs met an almost instantaneous demise through the first contact with the first colonial settlers. Imagine if William Dawes of the Sydney Observatory had’ve had the opportunity to liaise with those tribal astronomers of Wollemi.

‘Man on the goon’ is my commentary on the vacuous loss of spirituality and the after effect on survivors remnant today. Such a richness of custodial knowledge erased so quickly and a myriad of intelligence vastly ignored. Dispossession + oppression = depression. Whitey’s on the moon whilst the countryman is on the goon.