Watch Artist Ben Quilty’s Emotional Eulogy For Myuran Sukumaran

Yesterday, at a funeral service for executed Australian drug smuggler Myuran Sukumaran, artist Ben Quilty gave an emotional eulogy, expressing dismay at the abuse and criticism his friend faced in his final months.
Quilty, who acted as a mentor to Sukumaran and encouraged him in his art projects, spoke to a crowd of 1200 at Dayspring Church in Castle Hill yesterday, about the conversations that he and his friend shared.
“We talked about the angry and abusive letters that Myuran received right up to the end, [from] Australian people, mostly men, taking the time to address violent, threatening letters to my friend, all the way across the ocean in Indonesia.”
“He told me he felt so sorry that they were that angry,” Quilty continued. “I asked Myuran how he learned compassion, and he said, ‘I can’t remember, I guess mum taught me.’”
Quilty went on to speak about Sukumaran and his fellow inmate Andrew Chan‘s rehabilitation in prison, and their attempts to guide and mentor other young men while in prison in Indonesia.
Challenging angry letter-writers and commenters, Quilty said “if they had spent one hour with Myuran Sukumaran, I challenge any of them to continue their self-righteous and cruel tirade, for Myuran paved a way that contradicts the simplistic persona that they portray.”
After condemning violence in all forms, Quilty then spoke about his friend’s final artworks.
“Those paintings were not only images of salvation,” he said. “Knowing Myuran, they were images to steer the world from the revolting barbarism that has overwhelmed Indonesian politics, and back to compassion.”
“They are images made on death’s doorstep, but speak purely about embracing life … His last works are brave and they are beautiful. I’ve never been more proud of my friend.”
You can watch his speech below:
via Fairfax
Photo: Getty Images Pool