The Lock Hospital Tragedy Memorial project, Carnavon Western Australia is based on a very broad ‘footprint’- both literally and figuratively, in order to encompass the enormity of the story of this terrible tragedy and in doing so convey the colossal effect this sad episode of West Australian History had on so many Aboriginal people throughout this vast Country. From the far dry depths of the desert regions… to the sea – where so many suffered and died in ‘oceans of pain’. Our mission has been to symbolise all this, yet presented it in a form that will speak to all. Not only to the direct descendants of those who were directly involved, and thus were touched with the scars of this pain, but the people of this country today, who do not know, but we believe, would want to know and thereby open their hearts in an understanding that will hopefully lead to a deeper sense of reconciliation and community bonding in the years to come.
The following Memorial Concepts were developed from an intensive public consultation process with the Aboriginal Community in Carnarvon. As artists we felt humbled and honoured to be invited to create memorial artworks that would do justice to such a personal and emotional journey of pain and loss. Apart from the intensive historical research we carried out, the most important influence for us was the personal contact with a wide variety of Aboriginal people, including many Elders and the profound effect that hearing these stories of such suffering had upon us personally. We listened, and cried, and took all that was said to heart. We must say here, that as Irish Artists, the similar historical injustices suffered by our ancestors, carried out under the very same Colonial Administrators,… (The second Lock Hospital was built in Dublin in 1733)…had such a profound effect upon us that we were infused with a deep sense of creative purpose, that we feel very few other artists could bring to this project. We share a very common history with Aboriginal People being violently suppressed and exploited by the same Colonial masters; in our case, for seven hundred years. Therefore, we feel deeply honoured to be able to lend our creative skills and lengthy experience, to this essential, and long overdue, memorialisation of the Lock Hospital Tragedy.
A more detailed concept can be viewed here
This project is composed of 3 separate components.