A chance encounter with a powerful photo from the 1938 Day of Mourning got Jason Wing thinking, “That protest has been happening before 1938, it was officially photographed in 1938 and yet it's only gaining slight traction in the national consciousness now.”

Another, more recent event added another dimension. “It's interesting to note that Clinton Prior walks from Western Australia to Canberra and doesn't really get a lot of mainstream media and yet somebody graffiti's a statue of Capt Cook and it's splashed all over the front pages”, says Jason.  “It's just interesting the way the media perceives Aboriginal cultures and deals with it in a negative demonising way. A lot of people would be happy to graffiti such a monument (and there’s no evidence that an Aboriginal person did it by the way) and it's like well we've been tapping you on the shoulder since 1938 and before we've played it your way we've played by your rules and you're still not affecting change. So you can understand why people take to the streets to provoke a response”.

Jason’s work ‘Days of Mourning’ with its replica Day of Mourning blackboard and Capt. Cook graffiti extends the 1938 Day of Mourning into a historical timeline highlighting the continuing fight and the frustration at the glacial pace of change. “With a lot of our work it's just a documentation process we're just trying to create understanding and empathy and education about the way that we see the world and the historical significant events that have contributed to the dispossession of the Aboriginal culture in an ongoing way”.

As a Left Field mentor from the beginning Jason wants to encourage young artists in this quest to create understanding.  “I just love sharing and teaching what I know.  And I mean I'm just passionate about it generally, we also have a cultural responsibility to share and teach the next generation as much as we know to further Aboriginal culture and create a more sophisticated communication system. I've been mentored by a lot of people and my work has significantly increased as a result.  It's important to pay that to the next generation and as the mentees become more successful I'm sure they'll do the same.”

Originally The Left Field project started with each mentor matched with a mentee but as the project developed the lines blurred and the mentors started sharing their knowledge with all the artists. “And that just happened organically”, says Jason, “it worked a lot better in the long run. I think the show at Casula is a great testament to that because you can't really tell whose work is the mentors or the mentees”.

Faith continues until 19 November and features work from The Left Field Collective artists: Colin Brooks Jnr, Lachlan Goolagong, Aleshia Londsdale, Paris Norton and Alex Nixon and mentor artists Blak Doulgas, Karla Dickens, Nicole Monks, Chico Monks and Jason Wing.

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