Old Blackstone

Size: 30 x 30cm; already framed acrylic on linen canvas

Catalogue Number: 233-20


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About 20kms east of present-day Blackstone, is the remains of a mining camp built in the 1970’s. Having become used to the ways of ‘whitefellas’ when previously living at the Warburton Mission, several Ngaanyatjarra families conveniently set-up camp close to the miners. The artists who were children at the time, said they used to steal food, tools etc. from the frustrated miners.

Discovering one of the miners had made an Aboriginal teenager pregnant, the miners were forced off the Lands. Anything useful at the camp was later stripped and taken to the current site of Blackstone, becoming the first shelters or homes.

All that remains of the camp today are concrete slabs indicating miners’ huts, the office/canteen and the manager’s house. Holes dug by miners searching for precious metals are still visible as is the strewn rusty garbage where this piece of metal came from.