The Sky’s the Spirit, 2022
(AMEX Centurion Lounge graphic installation, Sydney International Airport)
Blak Douglas is well known for his bold, vibrant, political and poetic paintings combining Aboriginal and Western art techniques to create a style that is unique and instantly recognisable. His work portrays members of his community, ancient symbols and reveals a deep understanding of the Australian landscape and its people. Here, the signature landscape is complete with looming 'flat bottom' clouds, the. This particular work features several symbolic images, including a bold yellow sun that Blak Douglas said comes from the Grandfather Spirit, and seven streaks in the sky to represent the Seven Sisters dreaming.
Consistent with a signature practice of Blak Douglas that uses the custom stylising of standard Australian road signage, this piece acknowledges traditional custodians of the land with a street sign of a billowing Aboriginal Flag. The road sign stands as a European symbol of land ownership and control however here it references custodianship of the land – urging people to take care when on Country. Taking the time to acknowledge Country reminds us that every day we live, work, and dream on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lands.
This work acts as a reminder to care for Country as you travel through, as you relax in the lounge and in your onwards journey. If you care for Country, it will care for you.
The sign stands as a symbol of the enduring custodianship of this land – signs may be put up but this always was and always will be Aboriginal Land.