Indigenous rights activists from Disrupt Burrup Hub vandalise Fredrick McCubbin’s Down on His Luck

Disrespectful moment Indigenous activists deface an iconic Australian painting with a gas company logo to protest damage to sacred rock art

  • Two Indigenous rights protesters vandalised a painting
  • The artwork was Down on His Luck by Fredrick McCubbin
  • They were protesting Woodside’s power plants in WA 

Indigenous rights activists tried to vandalised an iconic Australian painting to protest the chemical damage a major corporation is inflicting on Indigenous rock art.

Ceramic artist Joana Partyk and Ballardong Noongar man Desmond Blurton sprayed a Woodside logo onto Fredrick McCubbin’s painting Down on His Luck at the Art Gallery of Western Australia in Perth on Thursday.

A cameraman filmed as Partyk painted the logo over the famous piece while Blurton laid an Indigenous flag on the ground in front of them.

The Art Gallery of Western Australia told Daily Mail Australia the painting was covered by a piece of perspex and was not damaged in the protest. 

Ceramic artist Joana Partyk and Ballardong Noongar man Desmond Blurton sprayed a Woodside logo onto the painting Down on His Luck (above) on Thursday

Ceramic artist Joana Partyk and Ballardong Noongar man Desmond Blurton sprayed a Woodside logo onto the painting Down on His Luck (above) on Thursday

‘As I stand here today, an artwork that is sacred to our people is being destroyed,’ Blurton said while Partyk glued her hand to the gallery wall.

‘Woodside is running the largest fossil fuel project in Australia, they are destroying ancient rock art.

‘We demand no industry on the Burrup. We must protect our cultural heritage and hard work now.’

The Burrup Peninsula, 850km southwest of Broome, is home to one of Australia’s biggest collections of Indigenous rock art.

However, it is also home to the Karratha Gas Plant which is owned by Woodside and produces liquified natural gas – LNG.

The pair were protesting Woodside's liquified natural gas plant on the Burrup Peninsula - home to a large collection of ancient Indigenous rock art (above)

The pair were protesting Woodside’s liquified natural gas plant on the Burrup Peninsula – home to a large collection of ancient Indigenous rock art (above)

Partyk sprayed the Woodside logo onto the iconic painting (above) - estimated to be worth $3million - while Blurton laid an Indigenous flag in front of them

Partyk sprayed the Woodside logo onto the iconic painting (above) – estimated to be worth $3million – while Blurton laid an Indigenous flag in front of them

The protesters from Disrupt Burrup Hub believe Woodside’s presence in Burrup threatens both the Indigenous culture in the area and the environment.

‘This painting is barely 100 years old, we have 50,000-year-old artwork that Woodside is destroying,’ Blurton said.

Partyk followed Blurton’s speech with one of her own, saying Woodside is threatening ‘Australia’s oldest and most significant art gallery’.

‘We know Woodside’s Burrup hub will emit six billion tonnes of CO2 (carbon dioxide) by 2070.

‘Woodside like to slap their logo on everything while they spray their toxic emissions all over sacred rock art. 

‘We must stop any more industry on the Burrup, or soon there will be no art left.’ 

Blurton (left) said the Down on His Luck painting is 'barely 100 years old' and accused Woodside of destroying '50,000-year-old art'

Blurton (left) said the Down on His Luck painting is ‘barely 100 years old’ and accused Woodside of destroying ‘50,000-year-old art’ 

Security approached the pair as the video ended. It is not yet known if they were charged over the incident. 

Sydney 2GB radio host Deborah Knight slammed the protesters for vandalising an iconic piece of Australian art, estimated to be worth $3million.

‘Why can’t they leave the art alone?,’ she said. 

‘Unbelievable, vandals strike again.’ 

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