Original Oil Painting on Canvas
By Helen Norton
92 x 180 cm
1991 Blood From Stone
The Duracks came to the East Kimberley in the same era as the the Pidgeon story was unfolding in the 1880's. These outback Queensland cattlemen with an eye for opportunity, came to the rich and beautiful country of the Ord River. They drove thousands of head of cattle all the way from central Queensland in the larges cattle drive of its kind and took up residence in this vast wilderness.
A tale of great physical endurance as these men and their aboriginal stockment fought drought, disease and disaster along the way. The new breed of Australian, the pioneer Patsy Durack then built his homestead from the earth and stone around him, and then the brides and children came. My focus here is on the spirit of the women and their innocence and comfort making skills as they followed their men into harsh and lonely country bringing with them all their implements of fine life and domestication.
The works began as an observation of the great contrast that lies in the driving force behind each culture - white Australians, and black Australians. But I found that the basis of each culture, in fact the cultures of all mankind actually eclipse when it comes to faith and physical endurance being applied reliably in the fight for survival of their family and kind. The abrasive is the ownership, the power of man and always the catalyst for war.