An image of Headhunter

Tony Albert

(Australia 1981 – )

Community
Brisbane, North-east region
Language group
Girramay, East Cape region, Kuku Yalanji, East Cape region

Headhunter

Location
Not on display
Further information

Tony Albert contrasts the strength and dignity implied by the word ‘hunter’ with a debased view of Aboriginal people and culture as represented by the kitsch tourist souvenir-ware featuring ‘portrait’ heads.

Albert collected similar material as a boy and uses its familiarity to many Australians as a means of engaging serious thinking on racist discrimination against Aboriginal people. In this context, the word ‘hunter’ implies the Aboriginal hunter of pre-settlement Australia, the white colonial hunter of ‘Aborigines’ on the frontier and the artist himself as a collector of these wares. The white plastic ‘alien’ head on the letter ‘H’ is Tony Albert’s signature reference – intended as a symbol of cultural alienation and displacement by Aboriginal people within Australian society.

Place of origin
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Year
2007
Media
Installation, Assemblage
Medium
synthetic polymer paint and vintage Aboriginal ephemera
Dimensions
110.0 x 370.0 cm overall installation :
a - portrait of child [ceramic plate]; 10 x 10.2 x 1.5 cm; This doll is dressed to represent a woman from Papua New Guinea. It is circa 1970s in date [advice from Natalie Wilson to Helen Campbell, 3 Nov 2016].
b - profile of elder [wooden coaster] [1]; 8.5 x 8.4 x 1.3 cm; This doll is dressed to represent a woman from Papua New Guinea. It is circa 1970s in date [advice from Natalie Wilson to Helen Campbell, 3 Nov 2016].
c - painted face mask [plastic]; 36.4 x 21.4 x 10.2 cm
d - man throwing spear [framed drawing on wood] [1]; 17.8 x 15 x 2.9 cm
e - clothed plastic doll; 8.1 x 3.5 x 2.5 cm
f - male profile [ceramic, painted black]; 26.4 x 12 x 0.5 cm
g - girl with orange hat [painted plaster]; 8.4 x 13 x 2 cm
h - portrait of male [ceramic plate with gold rim]; 25.9 x 25.9 x 3 cm
i - profile of elder surrounded by aboriginal imagery [printed on wood] [1]; 9.6 x 9.3 x 0.3 cm
j - portrait of girl [painted on wooden plate]; 15 x 15.2 x 2.4 cm
k - male profile [ceramic, painted brown]; 26.4 x 12 x 0.5 cm
l - male profile with red dotted head band [painted ceramic]; 17.5 x 13 x 4.5 cm
m - profile of elder [wooden coaster] [2]; 8.4 x 8.5 x 1.1 cm
n - full length male with spear and shield [paint on ceramic plate]; 10.1 x 10.1 x 1.6 cm
o - male making fire & child with goanna [printed on wood]; 9.6 x 9.4 x 0.7 cm
p - orange and black portrait of girl [reproduction of painting mounted on hardboard]; 26 x 19.8 x 1.5 cm
q - plastic doll with traditional dress [1]; 15 x 14 x 10 cm
r - profile of boy [pastel on cardboard]; 25.2 x 19.1 x 0.3 cm
s - male elder profile [bronze bust]; 27.5 x 24.5 x 4.5 cm
t - woman painting [printed on wood]; 9.6 x 9.4 x 0.3 cm
u - sitting male profile with possum [printed on cork]; 14.7 x 14.5 x 0.7 cm
v - 'Piccaninnies' [group of children painted on circular tile]; 15.3 x 15.3 x 0.7 cm
w - portrait of girl [ceramic plate]; 10.3 x 10.3 x 1.9 cm
x - portrait of man [ceramic plate]; 10.1 x 10.1 x 1.6 cm
y - profile of elder surrounded by aboriginal imagery [printed on wood] [2]; 9.6 x 9.4 x 0.4 cm
z - profile of man no. 1 [bronze bust on wood]; 21.4 x 14.5 x 4.3 cm
aa - b/w photo of male elder on ceramic plate; 26.7 x 26.7 x 2.9 cm
bb - portrait of girl [painted on shallow wooden bowl]; 12.7 x 12.7 x 2.6 cm
cc - full length standing female in desert [painted on wooded plate]; 20.5 x 21 x 4.2 cm
dd - male bust [painted on wood]; 29.7 x 17.4 x 2.1 cm
ee - male elders head with red headband [painted plaster]; 13.5 x 8.3 x 3.3 cm
ff - profile of boy head [ceramic, painted black]; 15 x 10.3 x 1 cm
gg - two children body painting [reproduction of watercolour, framed]; 22.9 x 18.6 x 2 cm
hh - male elders head [plaster, painted brown]; 18.6 x 18.8 x 6.5 cm
ii - 2 profile busts [male & female] with glitter background; 20 x 35.1 x 4 cm
jj - male with two spears [printed on wood]; 18 x 18 x 0.6 cm
kk - seated male with spear and shield [printed on wood]; 15.1 x 15.2 x 0.5 cm
ll - profile of elder surrounded by aboriginal imagery [printed on wood] [2]; 9.8 x 9.7 x 0.3 cm
mm - two figures in landscape [printed on wood] [1]; 9.7 x 9.6 x 0.5 cm
nn - profile of girl [reproduction of watercolour, framed]; 19.6 x 16.9 x 1.7 cm
oo - 6 figures [painted on ceramic boomerang shaped plate]; 10.5 x 24 x 2.3 cm
pp - male profile [ceramic, painted black]; 25.7 x 14.7 x 4.2 cm
qq - frontal male head [plaster, painted brown]; 18.2 x 12.7 x 4 cm
rr - profile of boy [plaster, painted brown]; 15.5 x 10.5 x 1 cm
ss - male head [painted plaster]; 12.6 x 8 x 3 cm
tt - portrait of man 2 [ceramic plate]; 10.5 x 10.4 x 1.8 cm
uu - portrait of man with headband [ceramic plate]; 10.4 x 10.4 x 1.8 cm
vv - Greetings from Tood Yay [two figures making items, painted ceramic plate]; 10.3 x 10.3 x 1.7 cm
ww - profile of elder [wooden coaster] [3]; 8.4 x 8.5 x 1 cm
xx - profile of elder [wooden coaster] [4]; 8.4 x 8.5 x 1.1 cm
yy - profile of elder [wooden coaster] [5]; 8.5 x 8.5 x 1 cm
zz - 'Alligator' dance [group of men spearing, painted on circular ceramic tile]; 15.2 x 15.2 x 0.5 cm
aaa - seated male with spear [painted rectangular bowl]; 22 x 10.4 x 3.1 cm
bbb - profile of elder surrounded by aboriginal imagery [printed on wood] [3]; 9.6 x 9.6 x 0.3 cm
ccc - two figures in landscape [printed on wood] [2]; 9.6 x 9.5 x 0.3 cm
ddd - colour photo of male elder on ceramic plate; 20.5 x 20.7 x 3 cm
eee - seated man with boomerang [painted tile with metal frame]; 16 x 15.8 x 2 cm
fff - profile of female [ceramic, painted black]; 16.2 x 19.5 x 5.8 cm
ggg - man throwing spear [framed drawing on wood] [2]; 17.4 x 14.8 x 3 cm
hhh - man spearing [painted circular tile, framed]; 20 x 20.1 x 2.1 cm
iii - full length man with spear and boomerang [copper cast]; 15.6 x 8 x 1.5 cm
jjj - 'Winton' doll; 20.6 x 8 x 5.4 cm
kkk - profile of purple girl [watercolour on wood, framed]; 15.3 x 10.2 x 3 cm
lll - two male elders on cardboard coaster [printed]; 9.7 x 6.9 x 0.2 cm
mmm - plastic doll with traditional dress [2]; 36 x 16.8 x 16.5 cm
nnn - profile of man [pastel on cardboard]; 25.3 x 19.3 x 0.3 cm
ooo - portrait of man 2 [ceramic plate] [2]; 10 x 10.1 x 1.6 cm
ppp - portrait of girl [ceramic plate] [2]; 10.2 x 10.2 x 1.8 cm
qqq - child with blossoms in hand [ceramic plate]; 10.3 x 10.3 x 1.8 cm
rrr - male head with large red lips and headband [ceramic, painted]; 11.8 x 7.8 x 4 cm
sss - 'The sitter' [seated male painted on wood]; 30 x 7.8 x 2.2 cm
ttt - profile of man no. 2 [bronze bust on wood]; 21.5 x 14.5 x 4 cm
vvv - smiling elder [painted wooden bowl]; 15 x 15.2 x 2.4 cm
www - male head with plastic green eyes [plaster, painted black]; 22.5 x 12.9 x 7.5 cm
xxx - female head with white eyes [plaster, painted brown & white]; 18 x 16.3 x 5.2 cm
yyy - baby in cot [painted plaster]; 13.5 x 9 x 3.5 cm
zzz - smiling boy [reproduction of pastel drawing, framed]; 16.5 x 12 x 1.3 cm
aaaa - male head [painted plaster]; 13.1 x 8.8 x 3.6 cm
bbbb - male head with white headband [painted plaster]; 13.2 x 8.3 x 3 cm
cccc - portrait of man [ceramic plate] [2]; 10.3 x 10.3 x 1.7 cm
dddd - male head [painted tile, framed]; 17.2 x 17.1 x 1.8 cm
eeee - profile of elder [wooden coaster] [6]; 8.4 x 8.5 x 0.9 cm
ffff - 'Wyanga' [mother and child & man with crab, painted on circular tile]; 15.3 x 15.3 x 0.7 cm
gggg - male portait [painted ceramic plate, gold rim]; 26.2 x 26.2 x 3.2 cm
hhhh - female bust with red lips [painted plaster]; 18.9 x 12.7 x 3.4 cm
iiii - little tarzan; 9 x 5.5 x 3.3 cm
jjjj - male head [black metalic glaze, plaster]; 9.5 x 7 x 3 cm
kkkk - frontal female head [plaster, painted brown]; 16.5 x 13.6 x 3.6 cm
llll - alien head with blue eyes [plaster]; 16 x 11 x 6.7 cm
Credit
Purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Collection Benefactors' Group 2007
Accession number
351.2007.a-llll
Copyright
© Tony Albert