Not a huge piece, but really pulling a punch, is my latest Sally Gabori acquisition purchased from Dallas Gold’s gallery Raft Artspace in Alice Springs. Having sat on the floor in Dallas’s gallery pouring over vibrant, energetic, stunning pieces by Sally Gabori on a few occasions, this particular painting kept haunting me until I bought it.
For me it is Sally’s unabashed placement of colour, perfectly balanced by an adjudicating strip of white, somewhere in the composition. Measuring 1000 x 1500mm, I look forward to hanging it along side one of Sally’s other paintings 1500 x 2000mm in some confident client’s foyer or Boardroom!
Unlike most contemporary Aboriginal artists who use acrylic paint, Phyllis Thomas paints ochre on canvas.
Being a Kitja ochre artist, she paints Daiwal (Barramundi) Dreaming. In order to catch the fish, people throw leaves into the water to make the barramundi sleepy – they then rise to the surface and are easier to catch! The leaves turn the water a red colour – hence Phyllis has painted the scales of the fish using red ochre. The black canvas behind represents the women’s skin.
The image on the left shows the elder women of the Kitja community semi dressed and displaying the body paint of the Barramundi on the top half of their bodies, in anticipation of Women’s Business. I find the picture interested and yet somehow disturbing – did the women wear their bra’s to protect their own modesty or the sensibilities of the gathered crowd?
I have just completed hanging a number of paintings into a client’s recently refurbished home. Everything looks very shiny and new, awaiting that unique patina that living gives it. The space will definitely mellow and soften with time.
Aboriginal Walpiri artist Ronnie Tjampitjinpa’s bold black and white painting titled “Tingari”, 1500mm x 2000mm balances the strongly striped Robyn Cosgrove rug and compliments the charcoal patterns and textures of the couch cushions.
To a large degree this room was designed around Minnie Pwerle’s superb “Awelye” painting – just the way it should be!
Given the minimal colour palette of cream, white and burnt umber, with a splash of green and touch of red, the painting has a simple, yet striking beauty that draws you in to it’s movement and rhythm. The subject matter, Awelye, conveys the movement of the women’s breasts, as they perform their ceremonial dances. On closer inspection, you can almost see how the breasts are dancing in pairs, some left to right and others the reverse.
(This painting was the subject of an earlier blog which included progress photos of Minnie Pwerle creating it. Please be advised that blog contains images of a deceased Aboriginal person).