The Sepia collages in Fiona MacDonald’s Universally Respected- How much of him is I ? series of 1993 employed provincial sources: late nineteenth-century photographs of members of the eminently respectable Rockhampton Club in Queensland, the venue where the installation was first shown. Interwoven among and into these gentlemen (who included my great-grandfather-in-law) were locals automatically excluded from membership: women, Aborigines, Kanakas and Chinese. In their Oxford frames, the new club members assert their equality with any boardroom portrait, while at the same time the technique converts the celebratory male photographs into ‘native’ crafts or women’s quilts. MacDonald (herself a ‘Rocky’ native) shows that art from outside the metropolis is no lesser a heritage. A theme reinforced by interspersing among her manipulated photographs caricatures of some of the same gentlemen by a gifted French émigré who settled in Rockhampton in the 1860’s, Louis Marcellin Martin.
Joan Kerr. ‘Colonial Quotations’, Art and Australia 33/3 Autumn, p.376
Universally Respected No. 14 , 1993
Archibald Archer, politician. 1st generation descendent of Archer family, first settlers at Gracemere in 1853; King Billy, no other name recorded, indigenous elder of a Darambal clan centered on Gracemere.
Image 38 x 48 cm.
Universally Respected No 3, 1993
Bishop Dawes, Anglican Bishop of Rockhampton and three South Sea Island men – John Mann, John Thinee and Peter Knowles .
Image 38 x 48cm.
Universally Respected No. 10, 1993
William Rudd, Walter Reid Company traveling salesman and Papers of Ken Yee, Chinese trader, market gardener and entrepeneur . Image 38 x 48 cm.
Universally Respected No. 5, 1993
William Rudd, Walter Reid Company traveling salesman.
Image 38 x 48 cm.
Universally Respected No. 15, 1993
Dr. FHV Voss, St Paul’s School Cricket Team; School of Arts native weapons display. Image 22 x 33 cm.
Media: woven sepia toned photographic prints with frames hand carved from local coastal quondong finished with black japan.
Art Work source images: Courtesy the Central Queensland Collection Rockhampton Regional Council Libraries and the Capricornia Collection University of Central Queensland
This project was created while Artist in Residence at the University of Central Queensland with support from Arts Queensland.
Thank you to: Stan Jones – Rockhampton Club; Lorna McDonald – Rockhampton & District Historical Society; Mark Svendsen, Doug Steeley, Ed Harbus, Sandy Clarke – UCQ; Steve Bundred – Geko Timbers; Diane Heenan, Director, Rockhampton City Gallery.
Photo Credit: Doug Steeley