History Painting in Goroka

This work is by Simon Gende who is a painter who lives and works in Goroka in the PNG highlands.  Tony Oates writes: There are several fascinating things about the work – firstly it is initially quite difficult to read if the artist is pro America or pro terrorist, as the planes causing the destruction feature local tribal highland groups as well as US flag designs.  From my conversions with Simon at the time and looking into his other works, plus the influence of his teacher Mathias Kauage, the painting does not really takes sides but just meant to document the event. So the inclusion of the highlander clans within the planes is pretty much just the way that he has always drawn planes, car or boats (a Kauage-esque style of motif).  Secondly, the airplane itself resonates strongly with the highlanders own history and symbolises how their society has changed so drastically in 60 odd years – their introduction to western civilisation and all contact with the outside world has been through airplanes (no easy road to Port Moresby!). Simon’s other work is often about history of the area and examining social and global issues – there is a real social conscience – you can find a few more of his things on my friend’s website – the other guy worth looking at on this site is Ratoos – some wild paintings (of varying quality)!

The details of the work are as follows: Simon Gende, Long 11-9-2001 tupela balus I bumpim twin tower long U.S.A, 2006
(acrylic on calico) 73 x 113 cm Collection: Tony Oates and Kerryn Wagg

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