Viewed from all sides: Statues, sport and Eddie Gilbert

Osmond, Gary and Phillips, Murray G. (2014) Viewed from all sides: Statues, sport and Eddie Gilbert. Australian Aboriginal Studies, 1: 16-32.

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Author Osmond, Gary
Phillips, Murray G.
Title Viewed from all sides: Statues, sport and Eddie Gilbert
Journal name Australian Aboriginal Studies
ISSN 0729-4352
Publication date 2014
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status
Issue 1
Start page 16
End page 32
Total pages 17
Place of publication Canberra, ACT Australia
Publisher Aboriginal Studies Press
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
A bronze statue of 1930s Indigenous cricketer Eddie Gilbert was unveiled in Brisbane in 2007 to commemorate his life and legendary sporting achievements. It is one of only a few monuments to Indigenous sportspeople in Australia and the only statue dedicated to an individual Aboriginal cricketer.   Previous studies of sport statues by historians typically focus on semiotic readings,  largely interpreted through the historians’ eyes, and neglect the vested interests of those who create the work and audience responses to it. Recognising these limitations,  this paper analyses the cultural significance of the Eddie Gilbert statue through three vignettes, or perspectives. First, we examine the types of knowledge that shape our understandings as historians and influence our approach and the questions we ask about the monument. Second, we consider the motives and contributions of the sculptor and activist groups that were responsible for the statue.   And, third, we engage with the feelings, impressions and opinions of Aboriginal community members from Cherbourg, the former Aboriginal reserve and home of Eddie Gilbert, who visited the statue with us and shared their reactions in a focus group discussion. Through this three-fold approach, we argue that the multiple possible readings of monuments such as statues are not random, entirely openended or limitless, but are strongly prefigured by the social, cultural and political perspectives of the viewers.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
 
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