That Wild Colonial Boy Dance … opens soon!

Rob Boulden’s That Wild Colonial Boy Dance … art exhibition opens soon at the Terrace Greenhouse Gallery, corner South Terrace and King William Street, South Freo. It runs from 16 May 16 to 2 June, with an opening on 18 May.

When the Voice referendum was first mooted, Rob says he had a sinking feeling that it was doomed to failure so he started to put his frustration into acrylic paint on canvas.

He explains that, as the Yes/No voices argy bargyed and the No proponents became shriller, more vicious, devoid of empathy and very ludicrous, his brush strokes grew angrier until, after two years, he had a body of work ready to be exhibited.

With the Referendum results in and counted, Rob fears ‘the whole Voice thing and proposed follow ups seemed to be swept under convenient political carpets’.

‘So last year!’ was the oft heard comment he recalls.

Not for Rob. He was determined to warm up his cold feet and jump into the fray and have a provocative show.

Here are some images of Rob Boulden’s work you’ll find in the exhibition, followed by some of his catalogue notes.

And here are some notes from the catalogue –

A descendant of those dancing boyos tries to come to terms with the stuff that was chucked around in the Year of the Referendum. Scrapes the underbelly of the naysayers and apologists.

Angry, of course. Sometimes perplexed. Rarely amused. Confused. Saddened. Disillusioned. Mostly amazed.

This descendant looks at That Year through the lens of settler privilege. Sunburned, pocked with carcinomas…..

…ponders: how do we redress the wrongs of the past as individuals, communities and as a nation?…Which was so much that this referendum was all about.

‘If you occupy a flawed house, it’s your responsibility to fix it, even if you didn’t build it in the first place’ – Isabel Wilkerson, Journalist.

The protagonists are presented as adolescent – sometimes pre-adolescent -white boys in settler garb, masked for anonymity, all brandishing the colours of a fossil fuel sponsored kids’ movement .

Many of the landscapes are yellow, ochred and dusty to fit in with settler iconography of the wide brown land. Terra Nullius, up for grabs. ‘Golden Summers’. Patterson and Lawson. Urban-scapes are omitted though equally complicit.

The exhibition has at its essence truth telling and is bound to get us thinking again, especially about what follows the lost Referendum.

Get along. Meet Rob Boulden. Have a chat. Have a think!

By Michael Barker, Editor, Fremantle Shipping News


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