Saturday 7 July 2012


At 11am on Tuesday the 16th November 2009 an apology was made by Kevin Rudd, the Prime Minister of Australia, to the 'Forgotten Australians'. These being the children of aboriginal parents who were removed from their families to be brought up in instituions as 'civilised Australians', due to the government polcies of the day. This day fo the apology, called 'Sorry Day' was for many people a deeply emotional experience and a long overdue acknowledgement of past errors.

This idea of the 'moment' has been captured in a 2010 work called 'World Within, World Without' on the south bank of the Yarra River near the Sandridge Bridge by mosaic artist Helen Bodycomb. It replicates the arrangement of the stars in the sky above at that moment on the 16th of November. It uses subtle mosaic patterning inlaid into a polished stone slab. The stars and planets have been made to resemble wattle blossoms, each one symbolising one of the children that were taken form their families and put into State care.

Helen Bodycomb was born in Adelaide , South Australia in 1964. Her art training includes completion of a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree (majoring in Painting) from Victoria College in 1990, and a Graduate Diploma of Fine Art (Painting - Monash University). Helen began working as a Mosaicist in 1996.  In 1997 Helen commenced a fruitful working partnership with Turkish born and trained mosaicist, Enver Camdal. As Camdal and Bodycomb, Enver and Helen were awarded back-to-back major public art commissions in Melbourne and Sydney over a three year period.

In 2000 Helen was honoured to be invited by one of Italy's most highly respected glass mosaic companies - Bisazza, to undertake a mosaic sabbatical based at the world acclaimed 'Scuola di Mosaicisti del Friuli' in Spilimbergo, 1 hour north of Venice. With funding assistance from the Australia Council for the Arts and from Arts Victoria, in June 2001 Helen went to Italy to develop her work under the mentorship of Mosaic Maestro, Giulio Candussio.

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme.


  1. Oh, my! What a poignant post today! I had no idea of the intervention of the government in the lives of the aboriginal children! I am always amazed at the audacity of our governments in thinking they have the right to invade our lives the way they do. Thank you for showing this beautiful piece of art - and I acknowledge your Prime Minister for the apology!

  2. Beautiful reflections in the artwork

  3. I love the reflection of the tree.

  4. Thanks for your insight into this monument Nick.


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