Yellow Fella, a dysfunctional self-portrait by Jason Murphy

This design is a response to being called a yellow fella, because I am of mixed blood. It also responds to Aussies with European heritage saying ‘You’re not a full blood.’

This design questions the European caste system; and also the traditional people calling us yellow fella ‘cos we’re mixed blood. There has always been different words; none of it is positive. Why do we have to justify ourselves through negative connotation?

This is a self-portrait of how other people see me – but how they see me is not right. When I look at myself, and this design – I know it’s not a self-portrait. It’s a dysfunctional self-portrait, focusing on the external things of me, looking at how other people see me. It’s me saying ‘You’re wrong, you don’t know me, stop doing that.’

This artwork started as a series of paintings and a build up of mono prints. Each figure is it’s own stamp, layered on top of each other to create the effect. The original paintings have texture. When you stamp, no matter how many times you stamp a layer on, the base layer stays true.

In the original artwork the red is the bottom colour – coming from David Gulpulil’s statement that ‘we are all one blood’ – even though you stamp lots of other colours onto it, the red will always come through. The half figures represent Darwin’s statement to ‘breed the Aboriginal people out’.

This design was first featured in a Magpie Goose X Jinibara in 2018, and was selected by new owner /directors to be part of a special QLD reprint in 2021, as part of Neon Reef collection! 


This design is a response to being called a yellow fella, because I am of mixed blood. It also responds to Aussies with European heritage saying ‘You’re not a full blood.’”

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