No matter what happens now, the damage has already been done.
It’s three years since Bali 9 drug traffickers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were executed by firing squad.
Their supporters continue the campaign against Indonesia’s death penalty.
News Limited journalist Cindy Wockner covered their story from the beginning right through to their brutal end.
She promised the pair to write their story so their deaths would not be in vain.
Cindy spoke to Cathy Van Extel about what the two men were really like, how they changed and their fight against the death penalty.
Includes details of the amazing achievements of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran within Kerobakan prison, Bali prior to their brutal death ordered by the Indonesian president Joko Widodo. [pembunuh berantai]
The exhibition of Myuran Sukumaran paintings mentioned in the video I posted yesterday moved from Sydney to Canberra at the beginning of March. On Saturday I saw it for myself. It closes on the 29th April but will reopen at the Bendigo Art Gallery in Victoria from 7th July to 16th September 2018.
It was the most emotionally challenging exhibition I’ve experienced. Even Gloria, who isn’t generally interested in art exhibitions was deeply affected.
The exhibition started with a large portrait of Sukumaran, displayed at the bottom of stairs leading up to the exhibition rooms. The painting was very reminiscent of Ben Quilty’s style, and after leaving the gallery I started to wonder whether it had actually been by Quilty – I couldn’t remember reading the attribution beside the painting, however, I’m now confident that it was one of Sukumaran’s.
The rest of the paintings were split between two rooms.
Within the first exhibition room, the first paintings are a series depicting the “Bali Nine”, very recognisable portraits of Sukumaran, Andrew Chan, and the other seven who were arrested with them and imprisoned for drug trafficking in April 2005.
On the opposite wall were a similar series of paintings (I now wonder whether there were nine of those too – I didn’t think to count) of political figures associated with the case, firstly Indonesian president Joko Widodo, the man who ensured Sukumaran and Chan were shot, followed by others including portraits of Tony Abbott (then Australian PM) Julie Bishop (Foreign Minister) and former Prime Ministers Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard.
This is the Sukumaran’s last painting. It was displayed suspended from the ceiling, about 45cms away from the wall allowing the back of the board to be seen.
The back of the board has messages written by all of those who were scheduled to be executed along with Sukumaran and Chan. The messages include one from Mary Jane Veloso, from the Philippines, who was given a last minute reprieve. Her fight to avoid execution continues three years later.
The second room had family portraits and a wall of paintings from Sukumaran’s final 72 hours.
He made the most of that time, with some of his most emotionally raw and revealing work, as he tried to get as much on canvas as was possible while he could, knowing he had only hours to live.
The part of the exhibition that I consider to be a very moving conclusion was set up in an alcove-like area of the second room. Two large TV screens faced each other from opposite walls. On one it appeared to have a large still image of Andrew Chan facing the camera, eyes obscured by dark glasses. However tiny head movements revealed it was a close up video with Chan staring into the camera.
On the other screen, there was a similar image of Sukumaran staring back towards Chan, with an occasional blink “spoiling” the apparent stillness before finally. breaking into a smile.
This video installation emphasises what was lost with the unnecessary (and foolishly cruel) decision to kill the two men; two men who were NOT the same people they had been when arrested and condemned to die ten years before.
Myu’s last words were ‘Jesus, I trust in you’
(Christie Buckingham , Sukumaran’s chosen spiritual adviser who accompanied him to, and witnessed, his execution)
“You are my son;
today I have become your Father.
Kiss His son, or He will be angry
and your way will lead to your destruction
Why do the nations conspire
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth rise up
and the rulers band together
against the LORD and against his anointed, saying,
“Let us break their chains
and throw off their shackles.”
The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them.
He rebukes them in his anger
and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
“I have installed my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.”
I will proclaim the LORD’s decree:
He said to me, “You are my son;
today I have become your father.
and I will make the nations your inheritance,
the ends of the earth your possession.
You will break them with a rod of iron
you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”
Therefore, you kings, be wise;
be warned, you rulers of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear
and celebrate his rule with trembling.
Kiss his son, or he will be angry
and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God (John 3
He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. (John 1)
I love this artist’s work: an abstract and symbolic expression of her Christian faith in paint and collage.
This is the latest post from her blog about some of her recent paintings.
Last year, guest curator Eric Drummond Smith invited me to be part of the “historical” show Cherry Bounce/ The American Elections at the William King Museum in Abingdon, VA. It was historical in subject matter–its theme the history of the American elections from George Washington to Barack Obama, the 44th President. His well-chosen title Cherry Bounce, an Appalachian liquor, alluded to either hope or despair as we anticipated the yet undecided outcome of the November 2016 election. It was historical because I was assigned the Nixon/McGovern race of 1972 (the Nixon poster called for “a sense of history, not histrionics”), and historical also because my own Christian faith believes all of history is a story with a divine plot and the post-Fall battle for power.
I am a painter who is conscious of this “grand narrative” called history. My statement reads, “Bomer is concerned with the human condition surprised by…
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A major local exhibition is approaching, but I’ve done very little painting over the last year or two. I missed the same event in 2016, but want to participate this year.
My hope of completing one or two new works has been undermined by the weather. It’s been too hot to work in my garage studio. This month we’ve only had one day below 30 degrees C, and throughout January it was the same. Most days we’ve been in the high 30s, with a few over 40 degrees C. Not the best conditions for painting in an uncooled garage.
As a compromise I’ve looked back at some of my earlier paintings and have decided to rework one of the larger canvases. What started out as this:
Now looks more like this:
The difference in the crucifixion image is an illusion caused by different lighting conditions when the two photos were taken.
No change was made to that part of the painting.
More work needs to be done, but at this stage I’m considering two or three different ideas. Entries for the exhibition need to be in by 3rd March, so I have a little over two weeks to finish my changes.
Quilty Confronts Syrian refugee crisis
Earlier this year the celebrated Australian artist Ben Quilty and the equally lauded author, Richard Flanagan, travelled to Europe and the Middle East to witness the refugee crisis in those regions.
They’ve since returned home and Ben Quilty’s new exhibition opening this week at the Art Gallery of South Australia is his interpretation of that experience.
Barbara Miller visited the artist in his studio.
See video here:
Also: Confronting mortality.
Artist Ben Quilty and author Richard Flanagan make a harrowing trip to Europe and the Middle East to witness first-hand the refugee crisis.