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Celebrating Townsville Exhibition - The Artists

Educational resources regarding the artists participating in JCU Library's "Celebrating Townsville" exhibition for the T150 project

The last of the good water

The last of the good water, by Anneke SILVER

b.1937 Holland
The last of the good water 2015
Charcoal, oil and mixed media on canvas
76 x 153 cm
Collection of the artist
Photograph: Michael Marzik

Last of the Good Water, by Anneke Silver
The last of the good water (2015),
by Anneke Silver (1937-). Photograph: Michael Marzik


“The location of the waterhole depicted in the painting is in Bladensburg National Park near Winton. The official name is Skull Hole. This is because it is the site of a massacre of the Aboriginal people who lived there; skulls have been found at the bottom of the waterhole. I have camped near the waterhole and found it a very powerful site. While there I made sketches and took many photos of the area and have completed several paintings of it in the studio, largely from memory.

The title “The last of the good water” implies a number of meanings. It refers in one aspect to the fact that this waterhole has clean water, because the cattle can’t get to it. If they could, the edges would be trampled and the water turned into mud which eventually—during floods—will also wash into the sea and do damage there. In a deeper sense it refers to the destruction of not only the natural environment but the destruction and annihilation of Aboriginal culture and people.

The last of the good water signifies the last of intact indigenous culture in that location, before it was annihilated”.

We acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and acknowledge Traditional Owners of the lands where our staff and students, live, learn and work.Acknowledgement of Country

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