|Flora (1970) by Barbara Hanrahan|
I love this hypnotic print which looks like an illustration from an avant-garde children's tale. It seems to swirl and throb with vibrancy and colour.
|Milngiyawuy/ Milky Way (2004) by Naminapu Maymuru-White|
|Detail from Milngiyawuy|
This work of natural pigments on bark is fairly self explanatory and incredibly relaxing to gaze upon. Just like the night sky it imbues the viewer with a curious sense of calm, connection and insignificance.
|Milmilngkan (2008) by John Mawurndjul|
Milmilngkan relates to a major ancestral site for Kuninjku people. Mawurndjul has developed a sophisticated and very fine form of the traditional rarrk (cross-hatching) which has its origins in ceremonial body painting designs. The surface of this work has a shimmering intensity that evokes both the powers of the ancestor and the reflective moving surface water of the sacred billabong. This is an excellent example of an important development in Mawurndjul’s painting, showing an increasing move towards what may be read by Western audiences as abstraction.
In an interesting exercise to persuade patrons to engage with the gallery, an on-line competition was held in which viewers were asked to vote for their favourite art-works from the archives, which would then be displayed. Here are some of them.
|Dry Grass Landscape (1986) by William Robinson|
|Ngatijirri (Budgerigar) Dreaming (1987) by Billy Stockman Tjapltjarri|
Billy Stockman Tjapaltjarri (c1927-), a founder of the Papunya painting movement, is from the Anmatyerr language group. He was born at Ilpitirri near Mount Denison, north-west of Yuendumu. The Papunya artists explain that their paintings come from the Dreaming. Like the natural features that mark out the journeys of ancestral beings and the ceremonies that re-enact these journeys, the paintings are both part of the Dreaming and part of the physical world.
By painting the designs and stories that represent their particular Dreaming places, the artists assert their rights and obligations as Central and Western Desert landowners, entrusted with the ritual re-enactment of the events that occurred at these sites. As part of these ceremonies, elaborate ground paintings are constructed using a symbolic language of U shapes, concentric circles, journey lines, and bird and animal tracks. This unique visual language is also used in designs painted on the skin, and is the same language made familiar by the Papunya painters.
Owl Vase (circa 1910) – Ernst Wahliss Porzellanhaus