Shannon Walding

Girl from Pearl Country

Shannon Walding

Year 9
School: Governor Stirling Senior High School
Medium: Digital photography

Artist statement: This digital portrait is an appropriation of the famous 15th century Renaissance painting Girl with a Pearl Earring, painted in 1665 by Dutch Renaissance artist Johannes Vermeer. It is a typical portrait of a girl dressed in clothing and head dress of the time period. My portrait is a cultural reinterpretation of this portrait, using the original work as my reference, although I want to challenge the idea that there is more to a portrait than meets the eye. I take a cultural perspective from my Indigenous background to inform the context of my photograph. In my traditional country we often go fishing and find wild clams and pearls, although we don’t wear them. My portrait is of my sister dressed in traditional decoration. She wears kangaroo hide and is decorated with symbolic details showing her Aboriginal identity.

Year selected and School represented
2018, Governor Stirling SHS