Rooty Hill based artist Kristone Capistrano has been selected as a finalist in the coveted Dobell Drawing Prize for his study of nineteenth century Filipino convict migrants.
Kristone’s drawing in the exhibition, The Sleep of Convicts, was the result of his ongoing research into the presence of Filipino and ethnic migrants in Australia during the late 1800s.
His drawings are based on historical photographs and death masks researched from the state archives of Victoria. On the right is a drawing of Ned Kelly’s death mask and on the left is that of Filippi Castillo, a Filipino cook imprisoned in 1889. Both were imprisoned and executed at the Old Melbourne Gaol.
“I was genuinely moved when I happened upon this death mask of an obscure Filipino migrant from the late 1880s. Growing up in the Western suburbs of Sydney, I always felt a slight disconnect with Australian history. High-school textbooks often explained the arrival of South-East Asian migrants as a recent phenomenon since the 90s” said Mr Capistrano.
“As a Filipino-Australian this work expresses my desire to find greater affinity with the narratives of Australian History. Placing an obscure Filipino convict alongside Ned Kelly – the quintessential Australian bushranger – was my attempt at uncovering those many ethnic voices representative of Australia’s convict past, as historical materials typical of Australia’s penal heritage is retold through the drawings of a Filipino-Australian artist.”
Kristone lives in Rooty Hill and works across Western Sydney as a school teacher and professional visual artist. He has delivered drawing workshops at The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre, and has been a finalist in the Blacktown City Art Prize a number of times, and in 2017 he received the Local Artist Prize and People’s Choice Prize. That winning artwork was acquired into the Blacktown City Council Art Collection. He has also been a recipient of the Blacktown City Council Creative Arts Fund.
2019 Dobell Drawing Prize Exhibition
The National Art School Gallery. Forbes St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010
28 March – 25 May 2019
About the Dobell Drawing Prize
Named after the Australian artist Sir William Dobell, the annual Dobell Drawing Prize encourages and celebrated excellence in drawing among Australian artists. Presented this year at the National Art School in Darlinghurst, the exhibition of finalists will showcase contemporary drawings by innovative artists from across Australia.