Sunday, April 1, 2007

Jemmy Morrill and the Brolgas

Jemmy Morrill and the Brolgas sculpture is located in the City Botanic Gardens. Sculpted by Lindsay Daen (1923-2001) in 1993, it is made of Bronze and is located in the ponds near the rainforest. The sculpture is on permanent loan from the Queensland Art Gallery. Daen liked his work to reflect man, animal and flight, and he has done so successfully with this work.

There are two main subjects of this sculpture. The main focus is the sailor Jemmy Morrill, who lived with the Aboriginals for 17 years after being the only survivor from a vessel shipwrecked on the Great Barrier Reef in 1846. He was the first white man in the vast north country and went on to play an important role in improving relations between the Aboriginal people and early settlers. The other is the Brolga, an Australian Stork often referred to as a native companion. The sculptor has noted this description of how he came to portray Morrill in this form:

“...naked and emaciated, awed and fearful... coming to terms with this strange environment as he hesitantly begins to dance with the Brolgas.”

Can you imagine being transferred into a totally foreign world, alone, a different colour and not understanding of any of the cultural nor behavioural traits of the group that finds you? This would have been the case for Jemmy (aka James Murrells) after he first stepped onto our Australian shores. The acceptance of the aboriginal inhabitants to this unique stranger should be a more acknowledged reminder today of the relationship we should have. They were accepting of us, we should officially say sorry in our reconciliation!

Cheers, I Love Brisbane, Wes.

Click Here for the Google Map Reference for this post.

No comments: