PODCAST: Reg Carnamah on relating his life to painting the Stations of the Cross

29 Apr 2021

By The Record

Podcast produced by Max Hoh.

The eRecord’s Matthew Lau recently sat down with the Archdiocese of Perth’s Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Pastoral Worker Reg Carnamah to speak about a special project assigned to him during COVID-19 lockdown from March to June 2020.

Mr Carnamah has provided pastoral care support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for the past 12 years; he also serves as an Acolyte.

Last year, he was given the task to paint the Stations of the Cross. It was a personal challenge, requiring him to use his skills as an artist to interpret and paint the 14 stations with an added touch of his own story and the journey of his struggles with addiction.

ACM Pastoral Worker Reg Carnamah.
ACM Pastoral Worker Reg Carnamah has last year painted the 14 Stations of the Cross. Photo: Feby Plando.

A Badimia Yamatji man of the Murchison Region, Mr Carnamah took to the task to apply his skills, personal story, and struggles to paint the Stations of the Cross during coronavirus-led restrictions period – the results were not only 14 paintings, but also acceptance of his past and reconciliation with his mother.

His story was last year recorded by the ACM team who produced a video titled “Take a Walk with a Yamatji Man”, a resource designed to inspire others to enter a relationship with God and encourage reconciliation between the Catholic and indigenous communities in Perth.

Reg Carnamah’s depiction of Jesus falling to the ground one of the three times. The character on the right is the “shady guy”. Photo: Reg Carnamah.

Here is a reflection by Mr Carnamah:

“When I paint, I wonder how other artists mix their colours. For me, when I paint, I dip my fingers into my heart so that the colours would come from my heart onto the canvas. My life was just black and white especially when I was going through crap and I couldn’t see myself coming out of it for a long time. I experienced this and once I come out of the crap the moods changed. The colours in my life changed. This is like my paintings.”