Image above: The Voice Sculptures, image courtesy of Michael Snape
In the following text, prominent Sydney Sculptor, Michael Snape, reflects upon the Voice to Parliament, which proposes an independent advisory body to advise the Australian parliament and government on matters relating to the social, spiritual and economic wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Snape’s sculpture, The Voice, poignantly speaks to this current political call to recognise the rights of Indigenous Australians.
We get to make amends to the Indigenous people of Australia sometimes.
In 1967 we gave The Indigenous people the right to vote.
In 2008 Kevin Rudd said ‘Sorry’ to the stolen generation and those affected.
At this gallery, The Art Gallery of NSW, we have enjoyed an appropriate representation of Indigenous art for some years, to confirm their place in Australian culture.
In several sporting codes it is the non-indigenous voice that is left speechless.
In 2023, The Voice to Parliament proposes an independent, representative advisory body for First Nations people to the Australian parliament and government.
This is the next stage along the path to recognition.
There will be further steps in the path towards Reconciliation.
To read the full text on Michael Snape’s online blog, click here.
Michael Snape The Voice 2023 hardwood 206 x 130 x 52.5 cm
Michael Snape’s The Voice is currently on display at the Art Gallery of NSW in the 2023 Wynne Prize.
‘This is the sound of The Voice, which has been speaking to me for nearly 250 years, nearly a quarter of a millennium.
I have been reluctant to listen, distracted by the task of finding myself in this place.
I have been reluctant to hear The Voice even while all that time The Voice was speaking, singing, waiting for me to hear it.
The Voice doesn’t shout. It draws you in, and as you listen to it, you find yourself more at home.
You may have run here, but from this place you will not need to run away.
This work is the shape of my listening.’ – Michael Snape, 2023