Friday, 27 February 2015

Friday Five: Pottery and Paintings

While walking through the National Gallery of Australia on my way to an event, I strolled trough some of the Indigenous Collections. I loved the terracotta pots from the Hermannsburg potters - descended from Albert Namatjira and influenced by his use of modern style and deep connection to the land. The pots are decorated with scenes from the Western MacDonnell Ranges and tell stories in clay with their own unique, artistic twist.

I also enjoyed the Desert Painting from 1975 section. These are mainly large and colourful canvases bursting with light and life. The artists, from the Western, Gibson and Great Sandy Desert regions, no longer use only traditional iconography or natural ochres. Their paintings today are also colourful, figurative or abstract, bold and sublime. Dreaming narratives of the Ancestors coexist with depictions of historical and contemporary works.

Stand-outs from the urban section include Barmah Forest by Lin Onus, in which beautiful red gum trees are reflected in clear water. The picture is presented as a puzzle with a few of the pieces yet to be fixed in position - the are superimposed onto the image, but two of them don't actually fit - arrgh! Also frustrating, for different reasons, is Raymond Zada's racebook. Spelled out in the Facebook font, the letters are comprised of racist comments posted on the site and at the bottom, alongside the thumbs-down symbol, is the tagline, 'too many people like this'.

  1. Black Cockatoos by Judith Pungarta Inkamala

  2. Baptism by Irene Mbitjana Entata

  3. Warlugulong by Clifford Possume Tjapaltjarri

  4. Barmah Forest by Lin Onus

  5. racebook by Raymond Zada

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