Collection Online

(1991); printed 2001
number 3 from the Patterns of connection series 1991

type C photograph
94.2 × 94.0 cm (image) 102.2 × 102.0 cm (sheet)
ed. 2/25
Accession Number
Australian Photography
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Presented through the NGV Foundation by Nellie Castan, Fellow, 2002
© Leah King-Smith/Licensed by VISCOPY, Australia
Gallery location
Not on display
About the work

The Pattern of Connection series was created after Leah King-Smith worked with the nineteenth-century photographs of Aboriginal people in the State Library of Victoria's collections. King-Smith re-photographed the images she found at the library using a camera with a fish-eye lens. She then created the final photo-compositions by layering the photographs with her own paintings and photographs of the Australian bush.

In this image, King-Smith combines a reflected landscape with a figure raising both spear and boomerang towards the camera. The centrally placed figure is the renowned Aboriginal artist, activist and Wurundjeri leader, William Barak.

‘This photo-composition series is essentially about renewing people’s perceptions of Aboriginal people ….  By re-placing the Koories in my work, I am showing my concerns about how the original photographs, and those generally of Indigenous peoples in the 19th century, are evidence of the cultural bias of the civilization which produced them, and in so being, generate an inaccurate version of the presence of Aboriginal people from this point of view.’ – Leah King Smith, 1991