It is a joyous exhibition of achievement that awaits those who take in Mervyn Bishop's exhibition of portraits of 'Sydney Elders' at the Australian Museum on College Street. An elder does not have to be old, rather a mentor with something to teach younger members of their tribe. Many of these elders are of the Eora tribe, but others are Gringai, or Bundjalung, or Wiradjuri, or Bidjigal, or Gamilaroi.
They emanate pride, and achievement, and solidity, character traits not usually associated with members of indigenous tribes within the greater Australian community. The character traits are most definitely there, just not concentrated upon as they are in Bishop's exhibit. All too often, we concentrate upon the negatives.
Mervyn Bishop's self-portrait is with bow-tie, in Aboriginal colours.