ESSAY written by Year 10 Art Student ‘Sophia B’ from a Brisbane Private School. She contacted me and we corresponded via email to help with her essay.
Jacqui Stewart’s artwork ‘Hope Beyond the Window’ identifies the western utopian vision on indigenous children. The painting communicates its concept through a use of hidden symbols. The main focus of the painting is the church that is symbolic as it demonstrates Christianity and a new life of teaching for the children. Furthermore, the representations of children in lines like soldiers reflect the order and structure of Whites. In the foreground, the children and vast open space implies the children’s focus on their spiritually of the land and hope beyond the churches window. The children portray despair but hopefulness and belief for a better future at the same time.
Stewart was influenced by researching photos of The Moore River Native Settlement from Rabbit Proof Fence in WA. She found that there were a lot of photos that focused on the children siting in straight lines in front of the church. She also felt that the painting communicates the importance of the indigenous issues, past and present. Despite Stewart’s focus on the ‘Stolen Generation’ she is inspired in many artist from the surrealist, Renaissance and Baroque periods.
The artwork is appropriate to all ages as it communicates the importance of the Stolen Generation from 1910-1970.