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).
I have just spent time in Alice Springs with Kudditji Kngwarreye. An extraordinary visit, where I sat with him while he painted, singing his way through a beautiful vivid blue and white panel. Having loved Kudditji’s work since I was first introduced to it, it was a great honour to sit with him and to have the opportunity to tell him what his art means to me, how moved I am by it, how it physically grabs my soul – even thinking about it now, my heart rate quickens, there is a palpable energy that his paintings impart.
That same painting hung in Fanuli Furniture, Cremorne for only a few days before a client walked into the store and fell instantly in love with it – just the way it should be!
My client at Church Point recently purchased this beautiful painting by Kudditji Kngwarreye from me. It measures 700 × 1500mm, a little small to command an entire wall and too big to hang between doors or at the end of a corridor. After experimenting with a few spots, we found the perfect place at the top of the stairs – the dramatic impact of turning the corner and seeing it, spot lit from above, brings a really fresh energy to the space.
In a very clever twist, my client then hung other works along side the painting to create an entire gallery wall of diverse and interesting pieces, each one different but brought together by the common thread of the colour blue!!
Posted by Karen Lange on September 09, 2011
I have recently installed a number of Aboriginal paintings into the new display penthouse at Breakfast Point, on the banks of the Parramatta River in Sydney.
The latest development for Rose Group, the penthouse, part of the Verandah’s complex, was styled by my colleagues at Fanuli Furniture and I was asked to adorn the walls with beautiful contemporary Aboriginal Artworks.
Rather fittingly, Breakfast Point was named by Captain John Hunter in 1788 when he put ashore to make tea and have refreshments. On the same day, it is believed he experienced his first sighting of local Aboriginals on a neighbouring island.