Artistic Response: Mercy & the Displacement of Persons
Margaret Smith rsm (ISMAPNG)

The title of my painting is ‘Reclaiming Place: Continuing the Story’.   The young boy is an Australian Aborigine from the area of Lockhart River in far north Queensland.  His is a culture in which every living thing is family, all of the earth is sacred and everything is connected.   I have tried to capture his sense of purpose and of hope, in spite of the many atrocities committed against Australian Aborigines and their displacement from land, culture and peoples.    The rich brown and red colours of his skin convey the deep connection the indigenous people of Australia have with the earth – their place and their home.

The skill of drumming is becoming a lost art for these people, like so many other aspects of their culture.  The young boy learning to play the drum gives a voice to all the indigenous children of Australia and all the displaced children of our world, in his determination to capture a lost art, to continue to tell the story of his people and reclaim their connection with earth and culture.   

How do we support the displaced children of our world in the telling of their stories and their search for a place to call home?

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Spanish translation using DeepL Translator. Traducción al español con DeepL Translator

Margaret Smith is a member of the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and PNG.   She lives in Brisbane where she has worked for many years in a school setting, offering psychological and counselling support to children and their families.  She continues her counselling ministry part time these days, and is enjoying more time to be creative with various artistic endeavours.  For her artistic response to the theme “Displacement of Persons’ Marg used soft pastels which provide beautiful tones and textures to capture the colours of the natural world.    She has a particular interest in the mediums of pastel and watercolour. 

Acknowledgement: Photographs of the painting were taken by Maree Hutchinson rsm 

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