On Friday 20th July I fly to Townsville for my second Art Research Trip to look further into the history of Blackbirding; Australia's slave history. Since completing my quilt block for the United Declaration of Human Rights Quilt Project last year, I have been on a journey to learn more about the history of Australia with a particular focus on the descendants of South Sea Islanders who were kidnapped, coerced and traded to work on the Cotton and Sugar Plantations and in the Maritime Industry on the coast of Queensland between 1863 and 1908.
I felt shocked and saddened to discover this history and perplexed that I didn't learn about this in school. It is a rich, complex history with many viewpoints and incongruities and the process of learning about it now has led me to meet some amazing people.
To encourage others to learn with me I am holding a Drawing Giveaway on Instagram. Feel free to follow my journey where I am posting information about Townsville's involvement in our Blackbirding history. I will post a question on Friday 27th July and the first person to answer it correctly who has tagged a friend and joined my mailing list will win an original drawing valued at $180.
In Townsville I am planning to "walk, listen and feel" my way around the city to get a sense of the land and what it tells me. I will make some artwork as I go and hopefully meet some interesting characters as well. I hope you will join me via Instagram as I continue to learn.