Sunday, September 13, 2009

Australian Art

Saw a very good show of contemporary indigenous Australian art at Katzen Gallery at American University here in D.C. Australian Indigenous Art Triennial: Culture Warriors This is a travelling show that is well worth seeing and reflecting on, and for any friends who are in this area reading this, it's also free.

September 8–December 6

Australian Indigenous Art Triennial: Culture Warriors showcases the works of artists from each state and territory in Australia that represent a diverse range of contemporary Indigenous art. This traveling exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Australia.

Julie DOWLING | Walyer

Julie Dowling Walyer 2006.

The paintings I liked the best were by Julie Dowling (above). They were masterfully executed representational paintings, one of a woman who is a historical cultural heroine, having escaped slavery to become a kind of Australian Geronimo, making defiant war on settlers until her death. Skillfully painted, the eyes were especially striking in the way this artist rendered them........there was an essence communicating there I haven't felt in a painting in a long time. Frankly, I tend to feel that representational art gets less attention than abstract, non-objective art these days.

One other thing I loved about this painter, and something I saw in other less representational paintings as well, was the overlay of patterns, suggesting to me indigenous perception of interpenetrating energy fields or dimensions of being; in the figurative paintings transparent glitter paint was dotted about the outlines of figures, suggesting auras. Or perhaps, suggesting participating in the "song lines" of their native land, the interweaving "song lines" of their ancestors.

I don't know how exactly to express it, but interested as I am in indigenous art and symbol around the world, the elaborate, ritualistic, and often very subtle patterning of Australian native art very powerfully illustrates our "layered" and interwoven world, the many fields of perception and meaning these ancient people experienced themselves participating within. A web of spiritual and environmental relationships.

3 comments:

Christiane said...

Hello Lauren,

greetings from London. I have been reading your blog with great interest. Your art as well as your writing is resonating prfoundly. Is there anyway to send you an email? I would like to exchange some art with you.

greetings Christiane

Christiane said...

Hello Lauren,

greetings from London. I have been reading your blog with great interest. Your art as well as your writing is resonating profoundly. Is there anyway to send you an email? I would like to exchange some art with you.

greetings Christiane
Christiane_Pedros@Yahoo.com

lauren said...

Hi Christiane,

I love to exchange art and ideas.....I just never figured out how to create community with blogs, as others seem able to do! Do you have a blog? I never thought I'd end up with over a 100 posts, but have strangely found blogging a very satisfying process.

My email is laurenraine@aol.com.

I lived in London long ago......wonderful city!