Robyne Latham

Community / Language Group: Yamatji POD2 2014 stoneware 40 x 27 x 79 cm

Robyne Latham is a Yamatji woman from Western Australia, though she has lived in Melbourne for the past 28 years.

In the works POD2 andPODS3, Robyne further explores her Strange Fruit series, that referenced the lynching of Aboriginal men for providing bush tucker for their families.

POD2 and PODS3, celebrate the revitalisation of many Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander (TSI) cultural practices.

The seedpod of an archetypal gum tree produces a flower full of colour. It holds the potential to endure and flourish, even after the ravages of fire.

The works speak of two things: The possibilities and potential for non-Aboriginal Australia to be enriched by the wisdom and knowledge of Aboriginal people. Secondly, they speak of the endurance and survival of Aboriginal and TSI people, despite the ravages of colonisation.

Upon reflection, ‘emphasis is invariably placed on Aboriginal people to adapt to Australian norms. But, if Aboriginal knowledge was embraced, I believe this would result in Australia becoming a Nation with an integrated soul.’

POD2 and PODS3 are wheel thrown and hand built. Forged with the elements, earth, fire, water, air and space, the patina of the works is created from a terra sigillata slip and then saggar fired in she-oak leaves. Importantly, the She-oak tree is sacred to Yamatji women.