I Held My Arms Open in Trust (The Measuring of Baneelon, Watkin Tench’s Diaries 1788) by Joan Ross - 2019 | Michael Reid Gallery

Joan Ross
I Held My Arms Open in Trust (The Measuring of Baneelon, Watkin Tench’s Diaries 1788), 2019

mixed media on paper
56.5 x 64 cm
SOLD

When Baneelon (Bennelong), a senior man of the Eora, was captured in 1788 by senior man ‘Governor and Commander in Chief, His Excellency Arthur Phillip, Esq’, he was not measured as an equal but like a specimen.

Phillip disregarded the legacy of Baneelon’s ancestors, who had already been on this land for over 60,000 years, thus:

Girth of the chest: 2 feet 10 inches

Girth of the belly: 2 feet 6½ inches

Girth of the thigh: 18⅛ inches

Girth of the leg at the small: 10 inches

Girth of arm halfway between the shoulder and elbow: 9 inches

Joan Ross, 2019

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