Amala Groom | The Cider Series | 2017 | glass, cork, wire, apple cider, ink, paper | 31 x 124 x 8.5cm
image courtesy of Amala Groom and Penelope Benton
The Cider Series is an iteration on an earlier series of paintings of the same name; a collection of a dozen bottles of Colonial Project cider where each bottle demonstrates a different way in which Aboriginal ontologies have been desecrated post colonisation.
As a play on words, -cide, meaning to kill, these seemingly attractive alcoholic beverages have been neatly packaged as a leisurely consumable; an intoxicating series of poisons brought to these many lands now known as Australia by the colonisers in 1770.
There are subtle reminders of the impact and devastation of colonialism in the overall label design. Each bottle bears the mark of its maker, the Colonial Project, and the ongoing philosophy of colonialism brought to Aboriginal lands on board the HMS Endeavour in 1770.
On the top left of each bottle is the imperial crown of King George III, the reigning king of Great Britain from 1760 until his death in 1820. The crown is symbolic to the imposition of the illegal, unethical and unfounded absolute authority and sovereignty of the monarch.
Featured across the series is a watermark of Lieutenant James Cook’s 1769 chart of the transit of Venus, sketched in Tahiti and historically documented as the official reason for Cook’s journey south. To the bottom right of each bottle is a banksia sketch, taken from native samples collected by Sir Joseph Banks, with drawings prepared by Sydney Parkinson on board the 1770 Endeavour expedition. No fewer than 76 species of this plant now carry his name.
The series includes:
- Herbicider – Desecrating Plants
- Facticider – Desecrating Truths
- Deicider – Desecrating Gods
- Linguicider – Desecrating Languages
- Genocider – Desecrating Native Peoples
- Theriocider – Desecrating Animals
- Ethnocider – Desecrating Cultures
- Legicider – Desecrating Laws
- Liberticider – Desecrating Liberties
- Spacicider – Desecrating Boundaries
- Memoricider – Desecrating Collective Memories
- Ecocider – Desecrating Natural Environments