Asanka Brendon RATNAYAKE
Artist statement: While working on assignment for The New York Times at the Deniliquin Ute Muster, I came across Aboriginal bull rider Kaleb Comollatti, a Wulli Wulli man from central Queensland as he was awaiting his turn to compete. Surrounded by the archetypal cowboys associated with a rodeo competition, Kaleb stood.
I saw a proud Indigenous man in his leather chaps, holding his helmet, both adorned with the Aboriginal flag. In his rough outback hardened deep voice, he says, ‘You got to be proud because you don’t get very many Indigenous riders these days, let people know. Because the people in the crowd don’t know unless you show them.’