This piece was created to share the story of the strength, pain & resilience of Australian South Sea (ASSI) Islanders. It also tells the story of the ASSI family centred in the Stan Series Black Snow
These pieces represent a burning fire of the survival of South Sea Island people and despite the pain, heartache and anguish endured from our ancestors and elders their bravery and courage to survive in what is now called Australia is the foundations & strength of the next generation of ASSI.
Between 1863 and 1904, more than 62,000 South Sea Islanders were stolen from their Islands as slaves to work in Queensland from around 80 different Pacific Islands, including Vanuatu and Solomon Islands.
This piece was created to honour our South Sea Island ancestors.
The dominant colour of the piece is black and this is to symbolise the black, dark skin of South Sea Island people and in particular our Vanuatu Ancestors. It also represents the name of the series Black Snow.
The gold chards outlining the piece represents snow or rather snowflakes which connects it to the name, Black Snow and the sugar cane ashes that falls ever so lightly from the sky during sugar cane burning season.
The inner tear drop has been embedded with sugar cane flowers which represents the sugar cane and the history of ASSI working as slaves in the sugar cane industry with little or no pay, poor working and living conditions, many never to return l back to their family or island homes.
The large tear drop and small tear drop shape represents the grief and loss because of the murder of Isabel in the series Black Snow but the many, real, painful experiences that South Sea Islanders faced whilst living in Australia.
The tear drop shapes represent grief and loss but also love and healing.
Blak Ember embodies the love, light, hope, courage and life of Australian South Sea Island people.
We are so proud to have collaborate with our sister Jemmason Power to bring this piece and this story to life and onto the Australian Logies Red Carpet.
May we never forget the Blak history of this country and the many people who have paved a way so that a new generation of Australian South Sea Islanders can live and thrive in this country.
We truly stand on the shoulders of giants.