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.
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.