Saturday, April 19, 2008

Eucalyptus bark

Dot painting is a big thing in Australia, naturally. There is a beautiful display of art from Papunya in Alice Springs' Cultural Precinct, in the Albert Namatjira Gallery. The paintings are really vibrant, in simple ochre, white, black and red. Papunya is where it all started, where a white teacher, Geoffrey Bardon, gave paints to Aboriginal men and allowed them to paint on the school's wall. While it didn't all go well for Bardon - the mural he had encouraged Aboriginals to paint was painted over by the authorities - it was thanks to him that the Aboriginal art movement got started.

I didn't want to spend the money to get a real aboriginal painting, but I was quite fascinated by the technique, so I tried my hand at it myself. A very soothing thing to do, painting with dots.

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