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© Garth Lena/ Licensed by Viscopy, 2017

Community Council Chamber

Date: 2013
Dimensions:
Overall: 1940 × 1000 × 900 mm
Medium: Steel
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with funds from the Sid Faithfull and Christine Sadler program supporting Contemporary Indigenous Maritime Heritage in Far North Queensland and the Torres Strait Islands through the ANM Foundation
Object Copyright: © Garth Lena
Classification:Art
Object Name: Sculpture
Object No: 00054528

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    Description
    A large black metal sculpture titled 'Community Council Chamber' by Garth Lena.
    The sculpture compromises of two tiers. On the first tier, a piece resembling a ship with an anchor tilted to one side and construction wrapped with chains, industrial- looking forms and sharp metal shapes, suggests the weight of civilisation approaching. Around the ship big metal spikes representing the dislocation and cultural confusion that has followed from colonisation. On the second tier, a platform with people standing surrounded by metal spikes, representing a council meeting of clansman contemplating momentous change. They stand, armed with spears while next to them,standing on a pole, is a big black bird with its wings raised to the sky and a long spiky tail.

    SignificanceThis sculpture by Garth Lena is significant in providing an Indigenous view of first contact and European occupation of Australia.
    HistoryThis work by Garth Lena was produced for East Coast Encounter, a multi-arts initiative involving Australian Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, writers and songwriters to re-imagine the encounter by Lieutenant James Cook and his crew with Indigenous people in 1770.

    Cook's voyage along the Australian east coast has become central to national historical narratives. The East Coast Encounter project asked artists to re-envisage this seminal journey by imaginatively exploring moments of contact between two world views during these encounters. It also brought these events into the present by incorporating artists' reflections on their relevance today, and their responses to visits to significant contact locations. Topics such as encounter, impact, differing perspectives, nature and culture and views of country are investigated.

    'Community Council Camber' features a council meeting of clansman contemplating momentous change. They stand, armed with spears on a dark, spiky construction wrapped with chains, industrial- looking forms and sharp metal shapes. The harsh entangled objects suggest the weight of civilisation, dislocation and cultural confusion that has followed from colonisation.
    Additional Titles

    Collection title: East Coast Encounters collection

    Assigned title: Community Council Chamber

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