"Benjamin, the Cleverman" by Karolina Venter
recycled wooden frame
reecycled woolen yarn
50 cm tall
30 cm wide
Cleverman was created to generate questions, feelings and
emotions. His purpose is to stimulate.
My Cleverman, the character, was created by using ordinary household items and rubbish I collected on our local beach Boneyard, Kiama.
Fishing line and ropes often get washed on shore.
I love using these decaying harmful items.
This area, The Illawarra, was once densely populated by Aboriginal people.
In the old days, elderly people were the library, the source of all knowledge.
They were the keepers or ceremonies and rituals, history, medicine
language and the connection with the spiritual world.
They were the keepers of this diverse culture of The Dreamtime.
Our western culture somehow, somewhere lost the ceremonies, rituals the
connection with the spirit world, nature and even the with their elderly.
Forcing our culture onto the first people of this land have made it impassible to practice their own old ways, living in harmony with nature and maintaining the education of their young ones.
The plastic ropes around the Cleverman’s neck represent the western culture,
strangulating the indigenous culture, soaking it in booze, drugs and petrol.
It also represents the industry of mining and farming. The ownership of the land.