Stairway from Heaven by Helen Norton
Shinju Matsuri Art Award Winner 1992 Helen Norton is a celebrated Australian narrative artist from Broome and this work is proudly displayed in the Broome library. This enigmatic painting depicts an Aboriginal woman in the disguise of a nun, rescuing Aboriginal children from a group of Europeans in Christian uniforms. It is the outback version of William Blake’s protest against the treatment of the dispossessed young by “official” Christianity in 19th Century England. The painting delves into the complex and often conflict-ridden relationship of a clumsily dominating European society with the First Nation people, set against the well-loved red cliffs of Broome's coast.