WHITEWASH by Tania Ferrier. 2014.
“WHITEWASH” is a five minute video made by artist, Tania Ferrier in 2014 referencing her project titled "The Quod Project" in Perth in 2011( taniaferrier.com.au ) This project and the video were the result of research in to the history of a building called The Quod on Rottnest Island/ Wadjemup, Western Australia .
“Quod” means gaol in old English slang, which is what the building functioned as from 1864 to 1903 after which time it was converted to tourist accommodation for ensuing generations of Western Australians .
Its' prior history as the notorious Native Prison, where over 400 Aboriginal men died in the cells from inhumane conditions, was subsequently whitewashed.The cells became the bedrooms for tourists. The spelling of “Quod” was changed to “Quad” in an effort to shake off the reference to a gaol.
Today it remains accommodation as part of the Rottnest Island Lodge Resort where little information is provided to tourists about the history of the rooms where they sleep.
“WHITEWASH” is a video that lets us reflect upon the whole of Australian history and how we as a nation have colluded in the collective forgetting of the past and to contemplate what this means to Aboriginal people today.
Aboriginal film maker, Glen Stasiuk / 2nd AD and actors, Curtis Taylor/ First prisoner and Michael Smith/ TV prisoner, participated in the making of this video along with Antony Webb / DOP, Alan Thompson / additional editng, James Kerr / stills photography and actors Alan Boyd/ Painter and Monica Maine/ Tourist . Guitar track by Abraham Dunovits, Didji by Steve Richter and additional sound by Alan Thompson. Crow coat by Olga Cironis. Concept/Direction/Design by Tania Ferrier, C. 2014. The bedspread and decor in the tourist room are as the hotel bedrooms are dressed today.