Black Dog, 2013 | National Artists' Self Portrait Prize at the University of Queensland Art Museum


Archie Moore's Black Dog was acquired by the National Gallery of Australia in 2014, in recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the 1967 Referendum.

"Skin was an identifier of who I was and what status I held—not in the long gone birth right of a traditional ‘skin name’, but from racist slurs that we’ve all heard at some time and continue to hear today. The skin of Black Dog is preserved by taxidermy, filled with sawdust and old newspapers but also full of a history of racism and a feeling of being subhuman. The dog wasn’t black enough so it got darkened with boot polish, a medium itself rich in racial connotations and make-up for ‘black face’ performers from decades ago and the odd, misguided incidents of recent times. It sits awkwardly on the floor, staring up at you with accusatory eyes as an indictment of past mistreatment of an individual but also of a marginalised group. There have been many papers that speak of a link between discrimination and mental illness, how words said in jest or abuse can lead to depression. A name tag hangs around the dog’s neck in case you are still unaware that this is a self-portrait." Archie Moore