Artist: Emily Kame Kngwarreye

Emily Kame Kngwarreye
Photograph by Greg Weight

Emily Kame Kngwarreye
1910 - 1996
Emily Kngwarreye is one of the most important abstract painters of the 20th century and one of the most significant artists that Australia has ever produced. Her painting was inspired by what she knew: her dreaming, her cultural life as an Aboriginal elder and the natural world that surrounded her. Throughout their history, Aboriginal people have used various forms of dynamic artistic expression, including body and sand paintings, to reflect their unique perception of the world.

Emily shifted her style from dots to gestural brush strokes that echoed the lines painted on women's breasts and shoulders for traditional ceremonial performances. Although Aboriginal art has often been classified as 'primitive art' in comparison to Western Art.  Emily's strikingly modern and beautifully innovative works were created in an environment far away from the influence of the Western Art tradition. Emily's genius was nurtured in the Australian outback and her world provides a wealth of inspiration.


Emily Kame Kngwarreye - Big Yam Dreaming 1995
Synthetic polymer paint on canvas - Approx 291 x 801 cm

Emily Kame Kngwarreye painted her Big Yam Dreaming in 1995 at Utopia in central Australia.

The subject is her major Dreaming story of the yam and its connection to her ancestral country of Alhalkere. Emily painted many works about the yam plant, a primary source of food for the Aboriginal people. Like many Aboriginal artists, Emily often sang the songs about  Yam Dreaming while painting.

Emily Kngwarreye, Kame Awely

Emu Woman 1988–89
Synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 92.0 x 61.0cm

"Emily Kngwarreye's paintings are a response to the land and the spiritual forces which imbue it; the contours and formations of the landscape, climatic changes, the parched earth and flooding rains, the shapes and patterns of seeds and plants."

 From a biography of Emily Kngwarreye at the National Gallery of Australia at the National Gallery of Australia.

 Utopia panels, 1996, 263.2×87.0 cm,
Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Licensed Viscopy, 2007

Awelye, 1995
Synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen
90 x 150 cm


Woven Meaning: The Continuity of Aboriginal Fibre Art

Weaving baskets and making bags were and are essentially women's arts. Not only are they great works of art that originated in ancient times and are still made today, but they also had extremely important functions within the society from which they came. In recent years, the textile arts have emerged from the shadows of craft skills courses and are now represented in art galleries. This has led to a complete change in the way in which people perceive the arts of fibre weaving and basket making among Aboriginals. Baskets have come to be respected as a form of modular sculpture, the interaction of two linear elements creating patterns in colour, light and shade. Never has it been more clearly apparent that Aboriginal fibre constructions are unquestionably fine art.

                                                         Weaving, Photograph: Lucia Rossi

                                                                    Aboriginal Fibre Art

                                                               Unititled, by Helen Guyula

                             An Arukun lady working on string bags. The fibre is termed thuuth or string.
                       Obtained from the cabbage fan farm, the fibre is dyed before being spun into string.

Bottles, 2006
ArtistRobyn Djunginy
Ramingining NT
MaterialsPandanus, natural dyes, coiling techinque. (left to right) 58.3 x 37.5 cm (diam); 43.6 x 33.5 cm (diam); 78.6 x 43.5 cm (diam); 43.9 x 25.8 cm (diam)

Twined ceremonial dilly bag with diamond designs painted in ochre on the
                      pandanus surface and Rainbow lorikeet feather pendants from eastern Arnhem Land.


Picture http://www.sellingyarns.com/2009/images_credited/2009/RobynDunginy.jpg
Floating Life: Contemporary Aboriginal Fibre Art http://qag.qld.gov.au/exhibitions/past/recently_archived/floating_life
Innovation for sustainability http://www.sellingyarns.com/2009/credits/
Gallery Unveils Aborigianl Fibre Art Collection http://www.mysunshinecoast.com.au/articles/article-display/gallery-unveils-aboriginal-fibre-art-collection,14179
ONE SUN ONE MOON - Aboriginal Art in Australia [p.271 - 283]

Artist: Paddy Bedford

Paddy Bedford and one of his paintings, Biriyalji - Fish Hole (2000), at the MCA.
Photo: Brendan Esposito

Paddy Bedford, 1922-2007

Paddy bedford's  landscapes were of his mother and father's dreaming, of the emu, turkey and black cockatoo, and of the massacres. They are simple and contemporary, yet deal with complex issues of indigenous culture, myth, memory and black-white relationships.

Paddy experiments freely with colour, form and pictorial space in his paintings, ranging from his early, densely patterned panels of red, yellow and black ochres, to his recent, expansive canvases in black and white, interspersed by vivid gouaches on paper.

    Heart of Blackness

                                                  Paddy Bedford, Cockatoo Dreaming,2002
                                              Ochres / pigm with acrylic binder on Belgian linen
                                                                         180 x 150 cm

Paddy has painted ceremonially all his life, but began painting on canvas for the art market after the establishment of the Jirrawun Aboriginal Art cooperative by Freddie Timms in 1997. Paddy was one of the original members of the cooperative, set up to sell members' artworks through commercial galleries to the public on the same terms as white artists.

Paddy's work is sparse in composition and bold in colour and form, depicting traditional dreaming stories as well as stories from the artist's own lifetime. His canvases may show abstracted road, property boundaries, rivers, campl liafe and stock yards, or turkey, emu and cockatoo dreamings.

Unlike several other indigenous arts cooperatives around Australia, the members of the Jirrawun cooperative continue to paint with ground natural pigments rather than acrylic paint.

                                                            Paddy Bedford, Untitled ,2003
                                                        Gouache on acid-free crescent board
                                                                          51 x 76 cm

                                                                      Light Creek, 2004

                                                     Paddy Bedford, Dingo Dreaming, 2001,
                                                           ochre on canvas, 122 x 135cm.


Art Right Now2 http://gallery.discoverymedia.com.au/artzinePub/story.asp?id=360&section=ExNews 
Raft Artspace - Paddy Bedford http://www.raftartspace.com.au/PaddyBedford.html
Paddy Beford - visual art preview from The Blurb http://www.theblurb.com.au/Issue77/PaddyBedford.htm
picture: http://www.shermangalleries.com.au/images/artists/07CT4318.jpg


Artist: Freddie Timms

Freddie Timms
Born c. 1946, Gija, Kununurra, Kimberley region

Freddie Timms' paintings, with expanses of paint lined with white dots. When I saw his artwork first time was in  a book that called "ONE SUN ONE MOON - ABORIGINAL ART IN AUSTRALIA". His painting (JACKYARD 2004) is on the cover of this book that deeply attracted me. Many of his pictures are like aerial maps of the bones of the country where he lived and worked all his life. Mapping is on a topographic level that showing features of the landscape such as black soil, red ground, sandy ground, hills, creeks and water holes as well as a historical and spiritual level, showing roads, stockyards, homesteads and dreaming places. Much of the country where he worked on Lissadell, a frequent painting subject, is now under the water of Lake Argyle formed by the damming of the Ord River.

Painted by Freddie Timms
synthetic polymer paint on canvas, diptych;
300x 180 cm

 Wunubi Spring
Painted by Freddie Timms
synthetic polymer paint on canvas, diptych;
300x 180 cm

 Untitled 1991 
Painted by Freddie Timms
123x 91 cm

1997 Painted by Freddie Timms
122 x 70 cm triptych,  each panel 40 x 70 cm

Timms bases his painted portrayals of his country on actual topographical features instead of exploring ancestral mythological themes, choosing instead to focus on the landscape's history and evolution since colonisation. Many of Timms' paintings are stories of exploitation, alcohol and violence. He often seeks to impart his political views through his paintings. 


Book - ONE SUN ONE MOON- Aboriginal Art in Australia [ p.244- p.247]
Website - Aboriginal Fine Arts http://www.aaia.com.au/freddietimms.htm
Japingka Gallery - Australian Aboriginal Art http://www.japingka.com.au/artist-profiles.cfm?artistID=58

Australian Aboriginal Crane Dance

Australian Aboriginal Crane Dance (Video): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2vzsSmqGg8
I'm really interested in Australian aboriginal musical performance, and this is a video about the aborigianl crane dance what I found in the Youtube. Australian aboriginal dance reminds Australians the root in Australia Day celebration.

This pretty Aboriginal art print is titled Crane Dance and features two beautiful big cranes in the centre of a swirling mass of native Australian animals.

THE YUENDUMU DOORS - Art and Dreamings

    THE YUENDUMU DOORS - Art and Dreamings (Brochure)   
    South Australian Museum
    Photo by Yan SUN

Last Thursday, I visited an exhibition (Theme: THE YUENDUMU DOORS - Art and Dreamings)  in the South Australian Museum. It made a deep impression on me. Yuendumu Doors tells the stories associated with each door, and explains the Western Desert painting style. In 1984, senior Warlpiri men painted thirty doors of the local primary school to give their children a record of the Yuendumu 'Dreamings'. Attractively presented and containing full colour plates.  The rich color, comprehension and perfect expression that reflecting the kind side of human soul attracted me deeply.

Ngatijirrikirli (Budgerigar)
Painted by Paddy Japaljarri Stewart
Yuendumu School Door #17
Photo by Yan SUN

This is a very interesting exhitition. It was a way for the elders to signify their approval of going to school, the connections between traditional knowledges and school knowledge and they acted as a warning about the dire consequences of vandalism. They were removed in 1995 in order to safeguard them from deterioration, but also, rumour has it, from being stolen by art thieves... by the 1990s they were immensely valuable.

(From Left) Woman and Snake Dreaming,
Two Men Dreaming,Small Yam and Big Yam Dreaming
Yuendumu School Door
Photo by Yan SUN

"The Yuendumu School Doors"

"In 1983 senior Warlpiri men grasped an historic opportunity to paint their sacred Dreaming designs on the doors of the remote Yuendumu school, 250 km north west of Alice Springs. It was a key moment in the history of Australian art, and it symbolised the Warlpiri's decision to explain the Tjukurrpa (Dreaming) to the world beyond their desert home."

"There were 30 original Doors. Nine are displayed here. Unique documents of history and culture, they not only reveal ancient stories and beliefs, but also the scars and graffiti of exposure to the elements and the schoolyard. "

Presented with the generous support of individual donors to the Yuendumu School Doors appeal and the South Australian Museum Foundation Inc.

(From Left) Milky Way Dreaming,
Honey Ant and Mulga Worm Dreaming,Two Kangaroos Dreaming
Yuendumu School Door
Photo by Yan SUN

Milky Way Dreaming (Detailed)
Painted by Paddy Japaljarri Sims
Yuendumu School Door
Photo by Yan SUN

From the touch screen. I could clearly to understand why the doors, the introduction about the doors, and more information about the artists. The most important is I could see  the explanation  and annotation of each painting doors very distinctly.  From their paintings, I could see that there is one of the earliest examples of Aboriginal artists successfully transferring their ancient ground paintings to a large-scale modern medium.

 Touch Screen
Photo by Yan SUN

Woman and Snake Dreaming (Touch Screen)
Painted by Larry Jungarrayi
Yuendumu School Door
Photo by Yan SUN

Thereinto, the most appeals to me is the door called 'Woman and Snake Dreaming', this painting represented women engaged in decorating themselves for ceremonies. These are dreaming women. Also shown here in this painting are dreaming snakes who stood hidden to the west of where the women were gathered, engaged in their ceremonial activities. The brightly blue color and visual S-shaped profoundly attracted me.