Harrison Rae, Busby’s Labourers, 2023, Ceramic, 61cmx21cm. Image Courtesy: The artist.

Artist statement

Busby’s Labourers is  a series of ceramic tiles that uses ceramic glazes and carving tools to draw 19th Century Australian convicts. Referencing depictions of convicts in Australian paintings from the 19th Century, the tiles in Busby’s Labourers serve as an opportunity to acknowledge the undocumented workers that built the bore running from Centennial Park to Hyde Park in 24 hour shifts over a 10 year period. This work in combination with a site-specific work at the entrance to Busby’s Bore in Centennial Park uses tiles to critique plaques in Centennial Park, Hyde Park and at UNSW AD which celebrate John Busby and seeks to counter established narratives embedded within these places.