Tag Archive | milikapiti

Cameron Hayes exhibition opens in Melbourne today

Cameron Hayes’ extensive body of work created over the past 8 years – The Incomplete History of Milikapiti – will be on show at Dark Horse Experiment gallery in Melbourne from tonight until the 2nd September.

Come and visit the show. If you have any thoughts or questions, contact Cameron. He might even be in the gallery some days.

Have a read of this article about the body of work before you go. It’s pretty interesting. And, if you can’t get to Melbourne to see the show check out this blog and the Dark Horse Experiment website for the full catalogue.

Soft sculpture installation from The Incomplete History of Milikapiti. There are more weird, fun and wonderful sculptures in the show.

The Incomplete History of Milikapiti

When all the Whites came to Milikapiti, they gave all the Tiwis sugar, flour, beer and the dole. The Tiwi hunters – famed for their ferocity and courage – were no longer needed to hunt and kill food for the community. The Tiwi hunters had no purpose, so they lost their self-esteem and just sat around the club drinking beer.

Because the Tiwis ate only flour and sugar their teeth started to fall out. The government provided only one size of too big false teeth for everyone.

When the Whites gave all the Tiwis ladders, everyone could get their own mangoes, so the best tree climbers in the community lost their jobs and their importance, and drank beer. Because the Kookaburras got ladders, they no longer felt they needed to fly, so their wings shrank and they put on weight.

Which was fine until they met the King Brown snake, who remembered how things used to be and killed the kookaburras, whose now tiny wings could not fly their fat bodies away from King Brown’s bite.

King Brown’s poo covered the ground all over the Tiwi Islands and was a constant embarrassment to the people and the animals.

Is there anything more humiliating than seeing your father humiliated? When the government gave everyone the dole, the proud Tiwi warriors got the same amount of money as the obnoxious baseball-cap-backwards-wearing teenagers, who got the same amount as the old Tiwi women, who got the same amount as the guy who just sleeps in the broken-down old car all day.

When the Whites gave all the Tiwis glasses, the owls with the best eyesight felt valueless. They started stealing everybody’s glasses in the community, and sometimes this created domestic violence.

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The Approach to Cameron Hayes – 14 Kurdish refugees…

here is an article my friend wrote about my Milikapiti works. the show is on at Dark Horse Experiment at 110 franklin st in Melbourne from 1st august until september 2.

this is the article here – ARTICLE

this is a painting from the show.

14 Kurdish refugees land in Milikapiti and ask, “is this Australia?” – 4th November 2003, 2012, oil on linen, 61 x 81 cm

on the 4th. of november 2003 14 kurdish refugees landed on the beach at milikapiti. one of the kurds yelled out from the boat ‘IS THIS AUSTRALIA ‘. the tiwis on the shore were not sure because the australian government was disowning the bits of itself that could be used to help people like the refugees.

this is an article from SMH about this story

Quote from marielle’s article about this work:

“The latter work referencing the sinister use of marketing in politics and the media. Based on a true story, a group of refugees were spotted on a vessel in the bay at Milikapiti. The conservative Howard Government of the time did a fantastic job of instilling a fear and hatred campaign of refugees through the media, basically branding them as potential terrorists and possible carriers of unknown diseases. It worked. So pervasive was this strategic political message that it even reached across the nation from capital cities to remote small communities. So here we have asylum seekers in the guise of The Raft of the Medusa, instead of ragged cloth they are waving brand name t-shirts representing our new dominant culture – the well marketed Brand. Would they have more success by appealing, not to empathetic fellow people, not to other displaced victims, but to those who like the same brands – who do you identify with? Are you Nike or more of a Burberry? Are you Apple or PC? Are you Right or Left?”

Mathias Ulungura captures Hajime Toyashima – 19th February 1942

Mathias Ulungura captures Hajime Toyashima – 19th February 1942, 2006, oil on linen, 167.5 x 254 cm

“The first prisoner of war captured on Australian territory was Hajime Toyashima, who crash-landed on the Tiwi Islands on the way home from bombing Darwin. He staggered to the beach where he saw lots of Tiwi women out crabbing in low tide. Hajime grabbed one of the babies left on the dry sand as a hostage. The Tiwi women just thought he was offering to carry the baby, so they returned to the community with Hajime following behind them, yelling in Japanese with a gun to the baby’s head.

When Hajime started to hear the Tiwi men, he handed the baby back to the grateful Tiwi women and ran off. Eventually he was caught by Matthias Ulungara who, before delivering him to the Whites, toured him around all the communities.

Tiwis only get bits and pieces of White culture, phrases that fall from the sky, like the leader of the tough gang who irons his Celine Dion tour T-shirt, or when a friend visited me from Germany, an old Tiwi woman wished her good luck and, “Heil, Hitler”.”

The link below takes you to an article about this true story. The first prisoner of war in Australia during WWII was captured on Melville Island by Mathias Ulungura. Click here to read the article by Catherine Schwerin.

Downed Japanese fighter aircraft A6M2, number 5349, source: Australian War Memorial. This image is in the public domain

dog torturers ?

here is another article about my show coming up in august. this is the link http://www.aboriginalartnews.com.au/2012/06/exhibition-cancelled-after-tiwi-protest.php

Cameron Hayes
Dog torturers behind the Milikapiti Clinic, 2006
oil on linen
77 1/2 x 83 1/2 inches
Photo: Hermann Feldhaus
Courtesy Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York

Boyd made a film about some of my Tiwi work

Boyd Hicklin made a film in 2006 about some of my Tiwi work. here it is