The Escape (Detail)

This work is an eight-panel work that reveals the story of the artist's uncle who narrowly escaped death at the hands of white cattle station workers. This event occurred around the beginning of the 1900s. There are a number of artworks like this from the east Kimberley region that describe the massacre of Aboriginal people. These events remain a part of the living memory of the Gija and other Aboriginal peoples of the Kimberley (Artist statement 2002).


The two white men continued to stab into the water trying to kill the man hiding amongst the waterlilies. So the man cut his own arm under the water. The two white men saw the blood and thought they had wounded the man so they kept stabbing around the roots as the blood drifted in the water. Once they believed they had killed the man they left and returned to the homestead.

..Phyllis Thomas
..East Kimberley
..ochre and liquitex binder on canvas
..8 units, 1220 x 1349 mm (each)
Credit Line
..Purchased 2003
Copyright Line
..© Phyllis Thomas 2002 / Licensed by Viscopy