Danie Mellor- "Of Kingdoms and Glory"
|Scooped by Kate Dove|
Content and Inquiry question:
CCS2.1: "Aboriginal resistance to the establishment of a British colony- significant people including Pemulwuy, achievements, events and places"
Inquiry question: How did Aboriginal people resist British colonisation and how does this affect all Australians now?
The purpose behind my inquiry question is that all students understand the different perspectives on the resistance of the Aboriginal people to British colonisation, particularly an Indigenous perspective, and to think about how a deeper knowledge of this effects the way that all Australians live and think now. At the conclusion of this unit of work, a discussion would be had with the whole class about what they have learnt and how this might shape the way they live.
Integration of key learning areas is a crucial aspect of teaching in the primary classroom; this artwork enables students to develop both their visual arts appreciation skills and their understanding of how the Aboriginal people responded to and resisted British colonisation, and how Indigenous people would have viewed the British culture in the years surrounding colonisation. Thus, this resource would enable fulfilment of both visual arts outcome VAS2.4, which requires students to “identify connections between subject matter in artworks and what they refer to, and appreciate the use of particular techniques” (Board of studies NSW, 2006, p. 30) and HSIE outcome CCS2.1, specifically the content concerning “Aboriginal resistance to the establishment of a British colony- significant people including Pemulwuy, achievements, events and places” (Board of studies NSW, 2006, p.55).
An Aboriginal/ Torres Strait Islander perspective is offered through this text, as the artist, Danie Mellor, a man of Aboriginal decent, explores how British colonisation would have appeared to the Aboriginal people and how this has greatly affected their lives and culture.
Art appreciation activities could be utilised to begin a lesson centred on this artwork, helping the students to view the piece in a detailed manner before discussing what it reveals about the Aboriginal people’s resistance to British colonisation. Encouraging a culture of in depth art appreciation is valuable within the classroom as “children need opportunities to look at and respond to works of art” and these skills will help develop other areas such as visual literacy (Ewing & Gibson, 2011, p.135). A guessing game could be played with the students to help them to observe the artwork in depth; this would involve a student choosing one aspect of the image, for example a kookaburra, and then the class would have to guess, by asking yes no questions, what they were thinking of. The teacher could prompt the students to ask questions involving the elements of art.
Critical questions could then be framed to the class and a discussion could be initiated in which the students discuss how they think the artist has communicated ideas about the Aboriginal people’s resistance to colonisation. Questions such as these could be asked:
-“how does this artwork show the Aboriginal people's resistance to British colonisation?”
-“how does the artist use colour to show this resistance or response?”
-“how does this artwork show the Aboriginal people?”
-“how does this artwork show the British people?”
Board of studies New South Wales. (2006). Creative arts K–6 syllabus. Sydney: Board of Studies.
Board of Studies NSW. (2006). Human society & its environment K-6 syllabus. Sydney: Board of Studies.
Ewing, R. & Gibson, R. (2011). Transforming the curriculum through the arts. Palgrave Macmillan.
Mellor, D. (2009). Of Kingdoms and Glory [Mixed media on paper]. Retrieved from: http://www.craftaustralia.org.au/library/interview.php?id=danie_mellor_layering_histories