Matthew Harding, Phyllotaxis 2002-2003, spun mirror-polished stainless steel (Detail)
Introduction | Exhibition | Judges | Further Reading | Visiting
Alwin REAMILLO | Jandamarra Crossing Project

Phillipines 1964
Australia from 1995
EATON, Roselin
Australia 1981
Jandamarra Crossing Project 2003
bamboo, found organic and inorganic materials
200 (h) x 100 (w) x 500 (d) cm
VIEW: Artist's Statement | |

The Pigeon Story

Now    Pigeon Start OFF    him bin—I talk to you with the Pidgin English, Pidgin white man tongue, Pidgin—he bin start off got breakin in HORSES   him bin SHEARER   shearin sheep with a BLADE not a machine ‘cos those days they had a blade   so he bin work on that one   shearin blade   he bin work Quanbun   Noonkanbah  Liveringa then he went back to Kimberley Downs   he work there   an he went back to p’lice camp then he start p’trol   he went for p’trol   look around some BLACKFELLAS inna bush   he tracking                                          (long pause)

What they done?   they killed two white man in Mount Broome   then p’lice went up to find him   so they pick-im-up—Pigeon the outlaw   they take-im   in up   on the range   then Pigeon walk up an he got a MOB   an he bring them back   SOME was there   right one   that bin kill the white man   but he didn’t know who he was—take him to Windjana Gorge   tie them there   they turn around tell ’im Pigeon   ‘Alright you wanna get a kangaroo’   ‘For us?’   ‘We can’t jus sitting down here stave hungry on the chain’   ‘You bin bring us’   ‘So you mus FEED us’.                       SO—

Pigeon turn around and see boss   the boss—‘I wanna get a kangaroo for these prisoners’   ‘Alright you know where the rifle’   so he went up and get the rifle   ’stead of he go for KANGAROO he shot his boss   in Windjana   Lillimooloora that was a p’lice station—(softly)   Anyhow   he went there  got the mob   take-im off the chain   an   he bin   go in the hill   Everyone   followed him up there but he the one done all the FIGHTING   an this OTHERS didn’t understand him (softly)   they never have-im fight.

hunting tracking sourcing searching finding fishing casting marking locating imagining translating crossing in(n) scrounging fossicking re-collecting mustering mastering constructing labouring designing cutting binding assembling fabricating fragmenting riveting re-painting sorting layering mixing re-playing recording propelling improvising                       and
gathering                       bamboo aluminium beer cans cattle bones kangaroo sinew leather emu feet feathers rubber tire tubes cable ties resin ochre gauze folding chair bush turkey feathers snake bones twine screen toys text electric fan motor motion sensor light globes tin drum kungga berry leaves words stories memory family bunuba gooniyandi walmajarri wangkajunga kartiya tagalog and other found materials
to                        build a single seater hybrid helicopter called Jandamarra (aka Pigeon) Crossing named after the young Bunuba folkhero who ‘flew like a bird and disappeared like a ghost’ as he lead the resistance against the invasion and pastoral occupation of Aboriginal lands in the Kimberley in the 1890s. The project revisits Jandamarra/Pigeon both as a traditional maparrn (medicine man), and as an exceptional marksman/strategist. And re-animates his sculptural improvisation in manufacturing the white man’s ammunition using found materials to propel and muster the creative spirit of resistance, in the context of the contemporary Aboriginal struggle for self-determination and emancipation

one maban blackfella witchdoctor—come from ROEBOURNE—they used to call-im ah Minko Mick—he got onto the boat in Roebourne or Onslow boat call-er name ah Koombana   three funnel   come right up to Derby landed—anyhow blackfella got onto mail coaches   they take-im to Meda and from Meda to Kimberley Downs and from Kimberley Downs to Fairfield then he ride across with a horse horseback  went to Tunnel   he SLEEP one night there   he didn’t go fast   but next mornin they stirred-im Pigeon up   so he got up   to start shooting—but this bloke seen his life.

The helicopter will have the personality of Jandamarra and should send a message to people about alcohol.                   Use don’t abuse…        Abuse alcohol: Sick        Abuse Helicopter: Crash

witchdoctor told them boys   ‘Alright’   ‘I know’ he said   ‘ I take jus one bullet in my rifle’ he said   ‘I’ll kill-im an you fellas can go…’    cut his HEAD off  so this Pigeon went up aaah—Minko Mick  followed the river up   he got into the boab tree   he look up upwards Pigeon was right on top in the cliff—so he FIRE ONE shot he knock him in his thumb—so he fell down an sing out ‘I shoot-im   you can go in and pick-im up whenever you want’   very fright they said, ‘No we can’t run up to pick-im up’   ‘No—you cango in an see-im’   ‘He’s finished’   ‘Alright’ oh well they didn’t argue with im   all them fellas round up there and see—sure enough Pigeon laying there smashed up’ is thumb   so Minko Mick—went up there he looked’ is thumb   he found a little   little heart   like a fish   in his thumb here (shows thumb)   that where he shot an pick-im-up   cut his head off   an that was the end of the old Pigeon story—it’s from Banjo, Pandanus Park.

(Text in italics from Howard Pedersen and Banjo Woroonmurra, Jandamarra and the Bunuba Resistance.)

Alwin Reamillo & Roselin Eaton, January 2003

The artists would like to acknowledge their collaborative partnership with Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency Aboriginal Corporation, Karrayili Adult Education Centre Aboriginal Corporation, and the valuable support of the following friends and agencies in the development of Jandamarra Crossing Project: Tommy May, Daisy Andrews, Butcher Cherel, and the full Mangkaja Arts membership, ATSIC, Leedal Pty Ltd, ArtsWA, Rachel McKenzie, Tamela Vestergaard, Rupert de la Cruz, Michael Borg, Bella Fernandez, Jeff Amundsen, Jimmy Pepito, Joe and Vaughan Duncan, Juliet and Kaprou Lea, Howard Pedersen, Karen Dayman and the Fitzroy Crossing community. Special thanks to Steve Barrett for his technical assistance and Greg Peterson of Wangkatjunka Community who provided bush turkey feathers and emu feet from their traditional hunting. No animals were directly hunted in the making of Jandamarra Crossing.

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