Sounds from the Coolamon (witakina/Glover country)

I was totally unprepared for the inner conflict I felt when residing in witakina (wee.tac.en.ner) country, affectionally known as Glover Country. I haven’t so much tried to paint what I have seen but to show respect for what I have felt, old and new stories wrestling to reverberate and be heard.
The bowl shape came from sculpture by Marcus Tatton, commissioned to commemorate Andrew Cameron, now in Glover’s Garden. It sits seamlessly between the plain and the homestead, like a gatekeeper between two worlds, a timeless elder. Resonating with Coolamon and Calabash bowls, I began to hear and see the traces of the symbolic form repeated in the landscape.

I think the unease I felt was my implicit privileged position within the once fertile food bowl for the Ben Lomond Nations. I believe Glover also was deeply conflicted (as expanded upon in Dr Ron Radford’s research) and used the language of paint to try and reconcile his uncomfortable position regardless of the popularity of his message at the time. I know I still have so much to learn from Glover.

This painting came out of month-long residency at John Glovers Patterdale Farm, compliments of Carol Westmore and Arts Tasmania.

Penny Burnett


Oil on masonite