A great story about the unlikely Aboriginal art collection of Gordon Syron:
A convicted murderer who learnt to paint in Long Bay jail 30 years ago, he paints and collects art to depict his experience of a racist and unjust Australia. Syron’s collection – 1300 paintings and artefacts gathered from around the country – is among the most significant Aboriginal-curated holdings of black art in Australia, experts say, and perhaps the most important existing record of urban Aboriginal art.
In a leaky, disused, government-owned railway shed in the back streets of Redfern, Syron, 67, lives with his wife Elaine, surrounded by Gordon Hookeys, Clifford Possums and Emily Kngwarreyes.
But in February the Syrons and their works will have to find a new home as they are due to be evicted to make way for the State Government’s plans for the area. It has all got to go, but where?
The Redfern-Waterloo Authority had offered them the shed plus $200 a week to catalogue the collection before relations soured and it cut off the cash, calling them “indolent”. (Syron says they gave him a computer but no training in how to use it, and that he had almost finished the job in any case.)