Ceremony, watercolour by William Barak
Ceremony, watercolour by William Barak.
circa 1895, ochres, watercolour, pencil on paper, 56.3 x 78.7cm (irregular). Art Gallery of Ballarat Collection. Gift of Mrs Anne Fraser Bon, 1934.
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Art Gallery of Ballarat.
Wurundjeri elder and lawman William Barak not only led his people during the dark years of the late nineteenth century, he also drew and painted images of ceremonies remembered from his childhood before Europeans settled in central Victoria.
Barak's works provide an extraordinary view into the rich ceremonial life of the Kulin Nation. This was the first work by Barak to enter a public collection. It was donated to the Art Gallery of Ballarat in 1934 by Annie Bon, a European woman who befriended Barak in his later years, and who paid for his tombstone at the cemetery at Coranderrk, by the Yarra River near Healesville.