Vernon Ah Kee – nothing important happened today
‘nothing important happened today’ is a new exhibition by Vernon Ah Kee.
In 1841 the Old Windmill on Spring Hill was the site of the first public execution in the colony of Queensland: the hanging of two Aboriginal men. Their public hanging was strategic, designed to be a brutal warning from colonial forces to Indigenous people of the area. In the underground spaces of the adjoining Spring Hill Reservoir, Vernon Ah Kee’s installation draws attention to past acts of violence at this site, connecting them to the contemporary experience of Aboriginal people today.
Vernon Ah Kee has said of this project: ‘The title of this exhibition speaks to wilful ignorance and erasure. It comes from an historical misquote, attributed to King George III of Britain who is said to have written the single line in his diary on July 4th 1776. This is also the date that the United States of America declared independence from the British — meaning they could no longer send convicts there, thus beginning the unsettlement of Australia. A process that continues to this day.’