Arraty Areyel: Looking Straight
Oct 07, 2021
This painting was created by former Codes 4 Life Project Officer Wayne Scrutton, and is symbolic of the program’s work. It depicts Aboriginal children (bottom), adult men (middle), and Elders (top).
A painting symbolising the significance of Codes 4 Life’s work, created by former Project Officer Wayne Scrutton.
Its significance is explained in the words of Manager Michael Liddle:
The white feet represent innocence, babies, and children – who are quickly drawn to the vices in the middle circle. It is assumed to be good, but their feet get dirty by walking the track littered with alcohol, domestic violence, incarceration, welfare payments, a lack of education, and an inability to understand responsibilities.
They were once kids; now they are teenagers and young men, and no longer is the road to the circle up the top accessible. These people are caught up in ‘the new culture’. They will no longer have access to, or an understanding of the knowledge that is held by senior lawmen in the top circle, which represents Elders and their wisdom, lore, culture and country.
It is so hard for them to get to the top circle because they lack the discipline that is required to get there. The circle in the middle is easy and good fun!
No longer is the journey about walking the track to learn about his identity. The learning stops at the middle circle, where all forms of distractions drown out the voice of culture, and stop him from learning about identity, about who he is. He has no willingness to learn because he has lost his way, and is now an individual creating his own journey.
Codes 4 Life continues to address the many social issues that are having a negative impact on the Aboriginal man’s identity; working to reconnect him with identity, culture and responsibility.