'Uncle Jack' by Jess Bush

    'Uncle Jack' by Jess Bush



      Jess Bush @onejessa

      Jess bush is a Brisbane raised visual and performing artist now living and working between Canada, the United States and Australia. Her entirely self taught practice has traversed disciplines, with early roots in figurative painting, expanding into sculpture and immersive installation. Jess also performs, currently acting on Star Trek, Strange New Worlds, a project that has also ignited an instinct for film street photography. Jess’s work, while diverse in its manifestation, frames her subjects with a perspective of wonder and awe. 


      Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this page contains images, and names of deceased persons in artworks.

      Jack Charles and Bendigo prison share a past that is irrevocably entwined. It was here that Uncle Jack - Aboriginal elder, Victorian Australian of the year and actor spent portions of his darker days incarcerated - he affectionately described it as his second favourite prison. 

      In 2006, the prison was decommissioned and later converted into the Ulumbarra theatre. As part of 2016 reconciliation week, Jack returned to perform ina stage show titled Ulumbarra alongside 20 of the nation’s top First Nation’s performers. 

      Our first sitting was between the morning and afternoon shows, and as we walked together Jack told me that he often found it difficult to dance because the rhythms just weren’t in his bones.

      Jacks reconnection to country and culture was a process of discovery and healing that he described as ongoing after a life begun as a child of the stolen generation. 

      This hall of cells is the only one that remained untouched after the transformation of the prison. Behind him are the very cells that held him. He wears his stage attire for the show to be performed that day. 


      This 1/1 original artwork has been donated to ART AID by artist Jess Bush. 100% of profits will be donated to Gunawirra. Gunawirra is a community-led organisation that works closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, families, children and communities to reach their full potential by operating programs that build capacity and confidence towards healing, resilience and self-reliance through practical grassroots programs.

      As this is an original artwork shipping will be calculated and invoiced to the customer after purchase.


      Sizing: Size - 1220mm x 1950mm 
      Oil on Canvas
      Edition Details: 1/1 Original Artwork (unframed)