|Place||Oceania: Australia, South Australia, Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands|
|Measurement||sheet: 46 x 153 cm|
|Physical description||acrylic, black pen on paper|
Fielding, Robert Punnagka
|Place made||Australia: South Australia, Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands|
Item copyright: AWM Licensed copyright
not titled [Poppies]
This work was acquired for the Memorial's Art collection alongside the opening of a permanent display in the Orientation gallery of 'Kulatangku angakanyini manta munu Tjukurpa [Country and Culture will be protected by spears]', a painting by 19 senior male artists of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands Art Collective. The painting was commissioned by the Memorial to tell the story of Aboriginal Australians defending Country. Prior to the creation of the paintings, the 19 male artists from the APY Lands Art Collective visited the Memorial in May 2017, and Robert Fielding participated in this visit.
After seeing the Roll of Honour, the APY Lands artists wanted to inscribe the names of all the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who had died defending Australia into the commissioned painting pieces. Finding that they weren't able to paint them on the work themselves, Fielding created this separate drawing and added a list of names amongst the poppies. Depicted here are names of fallen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander soldiers from the First World War. While Fielding endevoured to include names of fallen soldiers from other conflicts they were omitted as estimates and known records have not fully been researched and established.
Fielding has used hot wire to pierce through paper in creating this work. The pierced holes fill the negative space that surround the red poppies. This work was not titled by Fielding as it was thought to be a gift accompanying the major collaborative paintings, rather than for this piece to exist as a standalone artwork.
Robert Punnagka Fielding, Western Arrernte, NT/Yankunytjatjara people, SA, is from the community of Mimili in the far north west of South Australia, in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands. Fielding as worked as an arts worker at Mimili Maku for several years and has been painting and Mimili Maku since 2005. His diverse background and his experience growing up across two very different cultures - Western and traditional Aboriginal law - influence his work. His paintings are symbolic and allow him to connect with his family history, heritage and culture. Fielding is very family orientated and often depicts his relatives as rock-holes, creek beds and sand dunes within his work. He has been the recipient of a number of prestigeous awards, including winning the 2017 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA) for his work on paper 'Milkali Kutju [One blood]'.