This painting is my depiction of the "Three Women Sitting on a Tree Stump" photograph which was taken at Maroopna in 1954, a photograph that is very special to our family but still holds hard truths of history within it. My painting is a version with removal of the restrictions of the time that prevented our matriarchs from practicing culture, speaking language and going through ceremonies, denying them of their birthrights. This is what I see in my mind when I think of my grandmothers and old people watching over us, seeing our babies and women in ceremonies that they were unable to practice; dancing, weaving and sharing knowledge that they would have been harshly punished for doing. We honour them in our art, dance, ceremony and everything that we do that they should have been able to and that defies the ambitions of the government at the time, to assimilate our people and erase our ancestral memory and traditional ways.
My name is Teena Moffatt and I am a Yorta Yorta, Gunaikurnai and Gunditjmara woman living and practicing on Wurundjeri Country.