Peter Kennedy

(Australia 1945 – )

John Hughes

( – )

On Sacred Land

Not on display
Further information

'On Sacred Land' 1983-84
1 inch video, 18 minutes
John Hughes with Peter Kennedy
Animation: John Hansen

Warning to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers: this film may contain images of deceased persons.

'On Sacred Land' is the moving image component of an installation work designed by Peter Kennedy1 and featuring a large 'history painting' ('On Sacred Land', 1983-86, oil on canvas, 270 x 840 cm, 1983-86).

Drawing on 'On Sacred Ground' (Howes, 1980), a film on the Yungngora people's blockade of mining at Noonkanbah, Western Australia, 'Ship of Dreams' documentation of a school performance in Broome (1981), still photographs of tableaus directed by Peter Kennedy, that reference figures deployed in Kennedy's painting, 19th century archival studio photographs depicting Aboriginal people, redeployment of images referencing drawings from 19th century indigenous artist Tommy McCrae and other material, this work critically engages representations of 'Aboriginality' in a context alert to the 1980s contestation of land rights and indigenous self-determination.

1. University of Tasmania, (1986) 'Istoria: Peter Kennedy with John Hughes – Selected Works 1978-1986' (exhibition catalogue)

Time-based art
analog tape (VHS) shown as single channel digital video, colour, sound
duration: 00:18:00 min
Purchased 1988
Accession number
© Peter Kennedy and John Hughes. Licensed by Copyright Agency