The Packing Room Prize never veers at all. The winning portrait usually depicts a person famous in the media, and it is always either the most strictly realist portrait in that range, or very occasionally a comic, but highly worked, caricature. Nothing varying from the job of accurate representation has ever made the cut.
In 2021, the Australian effort to pursue the matter risks going under or, at the very least, losing steam. For one, events on the ground in Afghanistan are moving quickly. The Taliban forces are resurgent and eagerly awaiting the finalised departure of foreign-led forces.
I can’t help but be disappointed that we find ourselves some fifty years into a Treaty movement, and in the middle of various concurrent Treaty processes, and yet we continue to lack a vision for an outcome or outcomes.
Bowtell’s story is wrapped in a larger view of the relationship between science and politics. Crudely put, he sees science as good and true, and politics as compromised and bad. Science should trump politics in a pandemic.
We were out in Gudanji country, a place some of us older people know well. But we didn’t know where we were. The river had gone, huge mountains of waste rock were piled high in the sky, blocking our view of The Barramundi Dreaming… We were lost in our own country.