With this effort I come to terms with Mummy's beginnings—childhood to young adulthood in Queensland. Before three 'husbands' and seven spoilt children: Deborah Deacon, Kerry Deacon, Johnny Harding, Janina Harding, Clinton Petersen/Nain, Tommy Petersen & me, born second. Life before us and her settling into Melbourne, 1959. Now that's another story!

—Destiny Deacon

Exhibition Dates: 19 March – 12 April 2003

Postcards from Mummy: The first third of a life

ELEANOR HARDING/ELEANOR DEACON/EMMA ADELAIDE PITT/NAIN

June 24, 1934 to June 14, 1996

What can pictures say about a Mummy's life journey?

With this effort I come to terms with Mummy's beginnings—childhood to young adulthood in Queensland. Before three 'husbands' and seven spoilt children: Deborah Deacon, Kerry Deacon, Johnny Harding, Janina Harding, Clinton Petersen/Nain, Tommy Petersen & me, born second. Life before us and her settling into Melbourne, 1959. Now that's another story!.

This is the first-third of a life that was action-packed ... When World War 2 happened, Mummy was an orphan. She was evacuated from Darnley/Erub Island to her strict grandmother Annai Pitt [wife of deceased grandfather Edward Pitt, second son of the famous Douglass Pitt and Sophie from Lifu Island]. Annai resented Mummy's father's 'Aboriginal side', the Kuku tribe who inhabited the sand-dune regions from 'above Cooktown to the Daintree'. Anyway Mummy's life at Bloomfied river got her started—a tough life as a youngster, earning her own keep at thirteen as a kitchen-hand at the Lake Eacham Hotel (and we complained about study grants ...).

I wish I went with Mummy to these Queensland regions of her youth. When I finally took the journey, from 'Cooktown to Brisbane' to explore the placements in Mummy's early life, I got to see that everything she said about the Land she spent her early life in was true, and I found out something about why she became so strong and independent.

—Destiny Deacon

(originally published in: Australian Centre for Photography, Brenda L. Croft—In My Father's House; Destiny Deacon—Postcards From Mummy, exh. cat. Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney, 1998.)



In 1998 Destiny Deacon's large series of photographs, Postcards from Mummy, was first exhibited at the Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney and toured nationally. In 2002 Deacon was the only Australian artist to be chosen for Documenta, perhaps the most important survey of international contemporary art that is held only once every five years in Kassel, Germany. Postcards from Mummy was exhibited at Documenta 11. Deacon has been included in numerous important survey exhibitions including in the Yokohama Triennale in 2001 (curated by Akira Tatehata), the Biennale of Sydney in 2000, the Adelaide Biennial in 2000 and the Australian Perspecta in 1999 and 1993. Her work is held by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the National Gallery of Victoria, the Queensland Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Australia as well as numerous private collections in Australia and overseas. Postcards from Mummy will be Destiny Deacon's second solo exhibition with Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery.

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Destiny Deacon Postcard from Cedar Bay 1, 2 & 3, 1998; 3 colour laser prints; 21 x 29.7 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Cedar Bay 1, 2 & 3, 1998
3 colour laser prints
21 x 29.7 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Teatowell from Mummy, 1998 - Port Douglas, 1998; Inkjet print on teatowel; 52 x 77 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Teatowell from Mummy, 1998 - Port Douglas, 1998
Inkjet print on teatowel
52 x 77 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from the Bloomfield Track (1), 1998; colour laser print; 21 x 29.7 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from the Bloomfield Track (1), 1998
colour laser print
21 x 29.7 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Yarrabah (1) (2), 1998; 2 black & white laser prints; 29.7 x 21 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Yarrabah (1) (2), 1998
2 black & white laser prints
29.7 x 21 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Mossman, 1998; colour laser print; 29.7 x 42.2 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Mossman, 1998
colour laser print
29.7 x 42.2 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Mummy at 6 Years Old - Darnley/Erub Island, 1998; Colour laser print; 42.2 x 29.7 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Mummy at 6 Years Old - Darnley/Erub Island, 1998
Colour laser print
42.2 x 29.7 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Finch Bay 4, 2, 1, 5, 3 & 6, 1998; 6 colour laser prints; 21 x 29.7 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Finch Bay 4, 2, 1, 5, 3 & 6, 1998
6 colour laser prints
21 x 29.7 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Eacham (1),  Postcard from Lake Barrine, 1998; 2 colour laser prints; 21 x 29.7 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Eacham (1), Postcard from Lake Barrine, 1998
2 colour laser prints
21 x 29.7 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Atherton Tablelands (A) (B) (C) (D), 1998; 4 colour laser prints; 52 x 29.8 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Atherton Tablelands (A) (B) (C) (D), 1998
4 colour laser prints
52 x 29.8 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Cooktown 4, 5 & 3, 1998; 3 colour laser prints; 21 x 29.7 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Cooktown 4, 5 & 3, 1998
3 colour laser prints
21 x 29.7 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Ayton 1, 2 & 3, 1998; 3 colour laser prints; 21 x 29.7 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Ayton 1, 2 & 3, 1998
3 colour laser prints
21 x 29.7 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Bloomfield Beach (A) (B), 1998; 2 colour laser prints; 21 x 29.7 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Bloomfield Beach (A) (B), 1998
2 colour laser prints
21 x 29.7 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcards from Daintree River (A) (B), 1998; 2 colour laser prints; 21 x 29.7 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcards from Daintree River (A) (B), 1998
2 colour laser prints
21 x 29.7 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Captain Cook Highway (A) (B), 1998; 2 colour laser prints; 21 x 29.7 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Captain Cook Highway (A) (B), 1998
2 colour laser prints
21 x 29.7 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Mossman, 1998; colour laser print; 29.7 x 42.2 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Mossman, 1998
colour laser print
29.7 x 42.2 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Urangan  (6) (5), 1998; 2 colour laser prints; 21.2 x 29.8 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Urangan (6) (5), 1998
2 colour laser prints
21.2 x 29.8 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Cooktown 1 & 2, 1998; 2 laser prints; 21 x 29.7 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Cooktown 1 & 2, 1998
2 laser prints
21 x 29.7 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Bloomfield River (4) (5) (6), 1998; 3 colour laser prints; 21.2 x 29.8 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Bloomfield River (4) (5) (6), 1998
3 colour laser prints
21.2 x 29.8 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Wujal Wujal, 1998; colour laser print; 29.7 x 42.2 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Wujal Wujal, 1998
colour laser print
29.7 x 42.2 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Townsville (1), 1998; black & white laser print; 21.2 x 29.7 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Townsville (1), 1998
black & white laser print
21.2 x 29.7 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Lake Barrine, 1998; colour laser print; 29.7 x 42.2 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Lake Barrine, 1998
colour laser print
29.7 x 42.2 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Port Douglas, 1998; colour laser print; 29.7 x 42.2 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Port Douglas, 1998
colour laser print
29.7 x 42.2 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Lake Barrine (4) (5), 1998; 2 colour laser prints; 21 x 29.8 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Lake Barrine (4) (5), 1998
2 colour laser prints
21 x 29.8 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Innisfail (2) (4) (3), 1998; 3 colour laser prints; 21 x 29.7 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Innisfail (2) (4) (3), 1998
3 colour laser prints
21 x 29.7 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Bloomfield River (3), 1998; colour laser print; 29.7 x 21 cm; Edition of 18; enquire
Postcard from Bloomfield River (3), 1998
colour laser print
29.7 x 21 cm
Edition of 18
Destiny Deacon Mummy's Mother: Emma Pitt Nain, 1940, 1998; 42.1 x 29.7 cm; Edition of 18; enquire
Mummy's Mother: Emma Pitt Nain, 1940, 1998
42.1 x 29.7 cm
Edition of 18
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Cooktown 6 & 7, 1998; 2 colour laser prints; 21 x 29.7 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Cooktown 6 & 7, 1998
2 colour laser prints
21 x 29.7 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Black Mountain A, B, 1998; 2 colour laser prints; 21 x 29.7 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Black Mountain A, B, 1998
2 colour laser prints
21 x 29.7 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Ayton A, C & B, 1998; 3 colour laser prints; 21 x 29.7 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Ayton A, C & B, 1998
3 colour laser prints
21 x 29.7 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Bloomfield River (1) (2), 1998; 2 colour laser prints; 21 x 29.7 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Bloomfield River (1) (2), 1998
2 colour laser prints
21 x 29.7 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Teatowell from Mummy, 1998 - Twin Kauri trees, Atherton trees, 1998; Inkjet print on teatowel; 77 x 52 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Teatowell from Mummy, 1998 - Twin Kauri trees, Atherton trees, 1998
Inkjet print on teatowel
77 x 52 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Mossman Gorge (1) (2) (3), 1998; 3 colour laser prints; 29.7 x 42.2 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Mossman Gorge (1) (2) (3), 1998
3 colour laser prints
29.7 x 42.2 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Teatowell from Mummy 1998 - Mossman, 1998; Inkjet print on teatowel; 52 x 77 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Teatowell from Mummy 1998 - Mossman, 1998
Inkjet print on teatowel
52 x 77 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Yungaburra (1) (2) (2a) (3) (4) (4a), 1998; 6 colour laser prints; 20.1 x 29.7 cm; Edition of 30; enquire
Postcard from Yungaburra (1) (2) (2a) (3) (4) (4a), 1998
6 colour laser prints
20.1 x 29.7 cm
Edition of 30
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Daintree (A) (B) (C), 1998; 3 colour laser prints; 21.2 x 29.8 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Daintree (A) (B) (C), 1998
3 colour laser prints
21.2 x 29.8 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Maryborough, 1998; colour laser print; 29.7 x 42.2 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Maryborough, 1998
colour laser print
29.7 x 42.2 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Urangan (2) (1) (3) (4), 1998; 4 colour laser prints; 20.1 x 29.7 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Urangan (2) (1) (3) (4), 1998
4 colour laser prints
20.1 x 29.7 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Innisfail (6) (5), 1998; 2 black & white laser prints; 21 x 29.7 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Innisfail (6) (5), 1998
2 black & white laser prints
21 x 29.7 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Cairns (1) (2), 1998; 2 black & white laser prints; 21 x 29.8 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Cairns (1) (2), 1998
2 black & white laser prints
21 x 29.8 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Postcard from Innisfall (1), 1998; black & white laser print; 29.7 x 21 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Postcard from Innisfall (1), 1998
black & white laser print
29.7 x 21 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Mummy, about 13 years old at Hopevale, 1998; 2 black & white laser prints; 42.2 x 29.8 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Mummy, about 13 years old at Hopevale, 1998
2 black & white laser prints
42.2 x 29.8 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Mummy - Brisbane, 1950's, 1998; colour laser print; 42.2 x 29.8 cm; Edition of 15; enquire
Mummy - Brisbane, 1950's, 1998
colour laser print
42.2 x 29.8 cm
Edition of 15
Destiny Deacon Mummy's Grandfather: Edward Pitt, 1998; colour laser print; 42.2 x 29.6 cm; Edition of 18; enquire
Mummy's Grandfather: Edward Pitt, 1998
colour laser print
42.2 x 29.6 cm
Edition of 18