18 July - Back in Kununurra - Visiting the art galleries

by Andrea July. 28, 2011 4674 views

So back in Kununurra where i can go shopping in the supermarket and visit all the galleries that were closed when i came through last time. For such a small town, there are really quite a lot of art galleries here. The one above is the best in some respects and the one i will show next is the other best. They differ because the art in this gallery comes only from this region where as the other shows art from all over.

About ochre painting techniques
http://www.aboriginalartonline.com/methods/methods.php [aboriginalartonline.com]

The Rover thomas - the most famous ochre painter. In fact it is said he is the inventor of this style in contemporary art. Others have been influenced by him.
http://archive.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/media/archives_2004/rover_thomas/index.html [archive.artgallery.nsw.gov.au]

paddy bedford is my favourite ochre painter though i've never seen one in the flesh yet. All paintings have been bought up by galleries in the southern cities and individuals. Nothing is available in the Kimberley. He has died. His story is interesting. If you want to see more of his image google paddy bedford.
http://www.huliq.com/4318/museum-of-contemporary-art-presents-first-major-retrospective-of-paddy-bedford [huliq.com]

The easiest way to understand these images is that they are maps of the land. All the features in the pictures are landscape features. hills waterholes rivers etc.
http://www.grantpirrie.com/exhibition.php?g=gallery1&e=9&s=3&i=1 [grantpirrie.com]

This is the art centre - where the famous ochre painters from Turkey Creek are now showing, since their own gallerie and whole township got washed away in the previous wet season. I didn't take in any piccies cause i thought it might not be allowed. I should have asked. I do have some ochre pictures to show later though from another gallery. See below for links to the real thing and the characteristic art of this region. …The fish on the pole is a barramundi - famous big and yummy eating fish from the whole of the top end of Australia.

Painted poles.

closeup. The dot technique has become perhaps the most universally recognisable motif in aboriginal painting. It started in central australia and has spread. Its not just a motif but a technique and also has a whole lot of meaning and uses given to it. One meaning/use is to hide the more explicit meanings of the paintings from the white fella who buys the art. Such paintings that use it in that way cover the whole picture in dots.

I was interested in the construction . Since termites a problem in northern australia, this looks like one way to avoid the ants from crawling out of the ground to attack the wood. Termites don't like light so they shouldn't be crawling over concrete to get to hte pole. I have discovered though that there are timbers that are resistant to white ants - iron bark. We've got 20 year old poles on our property that are in perfectly good order. i know because i've been digging them up lately to use in my own building.

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