It’s a lament I’ve heard often over the years. In the popular imagination Aboriginal art, as a broad generic descriptor, is either Top End X-ray style or Centralian dot-dot stuff. Usually the inland work is imagined as circles with dots around them, executed in a palette of browns. Sadly, this pretty accurately describes a lot of the stuff being hawked on the lawns outside Flynn Church in Todd Mall, or sold in bulk by attractive-looking outlets such as this:
Peeps: it need not be so. I’ve just returned from the Araluen Arts Centre where I saw two exhibitions that had me mesmerised. The breadth of media and subject matter and pure quality was absolutely captivating. Sorry about the crummy iPhone photos, but have a scroll down.
Tiger Yaltangki, Desert Safari:
Louise Daniels, Alice Springs baseball grand final (acrylic on car bonnet!):
Matjangka Norris, Minyma Mamu Inma:
Colin Watson, Nyangatja Ngayulu. Ngayulu Colin-ny. This is me. I am Colin:
David Frank, Policeman Story:
Judy Long, Ngulu – Seed Story:
Vincent Namatjira, The Indulkana Tigers:
Billy Yunkurra Atkins, Animals at Kumpupirntily (Lake Disappointment):
Kaylene Whiskey, Closing Time at Mintabie:
Maybe you’re more of a 3D or sculpture kind of person.
What a wonderful, vibrant world! What’s not to like?