We Are Just Visitors to This Time, This Place
Oil and 24k gold leaf on aluminum panel,
Image: 36"h x 48"w, framed: 42.5"h x 54.5"w, Item No. 18920,
The Forest Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo of Australia is listed as an endangered species, threatened by habitat loss due to deforestation from mining and timber industries, habitat fragmentation, fire and competition for rare nesting hollows. The Australian's government recovery plan for this species was implemented in October 2021 with a view to reducing the burden these threats place on the birds. The South-Eastern Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo is only found in south-east South Australia and south-west Victoria. With an estimated population of about 1,500 birds, the South-Eastern Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo is in danger of extinction.
The Aboriginal people of Australia, or Australian First Nations, are those with familial heritage from the ethnic groups that lived in Australia before British colonization. At the time of this colonization there were over 250 Aboriginal languages, but it is now estimated that all but 13 remaining indigenous languages are considered endangered. With the arrival of the European colonizers came disease, which decimated the Aboriginal population, along with massacres and frontier conflicts. From the 19th to mid-20th century, government policy removed many mixed heritage children from Aboriginal communities, which was judged "genocidal" in the Bringing Them Home Report in 1997.
The title of this painting comes from an Australian Aboriginal proverb: "We are just visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow and to love... and then we return home."