Youthful Art, Aboriginal History
Created half a century ago by a boy in an Australian internment camp, it is part of a trove of 113 artworks that emerged recently from a dusty Colgate University storage space.
A bit of writing by the young artist, Parnell Dempster, survives as well. “Now I am 14 years old,” he said. “I would like to be something good. I don’t like camp life.”
The artworks, five of which are on display here at the Picker Art Gallery at Colgate, present both an exciting opportunity and a poignant story. All were created in the late 1940’s and early 50’s by Aboriginal children who had been forcibly taken from their families in what the government described as an assimilation program. Youthful Art, Aboriginal History – New York Times