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BENNETT, Gordon; The Shooting Gallery

Gordon Bennett, one of Australia’s most respected artists, was 11 before he learned of his Aboriginal heritage and 12 before his mother was considered a citizen of Australia. When Bennett entered the workforce, personal turmoil started to build as he began to experience and comprehend the prevalence of racist beliefs.

In The Shooting Gallery he recasts a scene depicting a group of Aboriginal people caught in a dawn raid by the brutal Native Police, a force of Aboriginal troopers underneath the command of a white officer. Historical representations of Indigenous people often depicted or described them as dangerous, implicitly justifying their unjust treatment by white colonial Australia. Bennett’s work is used as a poignant counterpoint to the dominant narrative.