The hidden half

Suzanne O'Connell2019

National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery
Canberra, Australia

This image looks at race-based privilege in Australia, and attempts to re-conceptualise 'blackfacing'. 'Whitefacing' (such as it appears) re-appropriates the act of 'blackfacing', used historically to de-humanise peoples of colour. Simultaneously, the image seeks to highlight that appropriating another’s skin colour pales into insignificance compared to the systematic extermination of traditional lifestyles of people of colour. Colonisation forced the indoctrination of 'whiteness'. Now the subject once again adopts the white mask as a metaphor for the white-washing of non-white cultures. Jack Wilkie-Jans is a Waanyi man from the Gulf of Carpentaria and of the Teppathiggi and Tjungundji tribes from Western Cape York.


  • Title: The hidden half
  • Creator: Suzanne O'Connell
  • Date Created: 2019

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps