December 7th – 20th 2019
Detailed paintings of the flora used in traditional Aboriginal medicine and evocative paintings of the ‘Seven Sisters’ dreaming story feature in Everywhen Artspace’s Christmas exhibition in December.
“Some years ago, the artists of the Ampilatwatja community about 230 kilometres north-east of Alice Springs made the decision to paint in quite a different style to other Aboriginal artists of the region by depicting, as they describe it, ‘The countries on which the dreaming stories sit,’” says Everywhen co-curator Susan McCulloch. “Their work is characterised by views of the land marked out in the finest of dot painting and using a rich palette of colour.”
The style is exemplified in the work of younger generation artist Kathleen Rambler whose paintings are notable for their jewel-like colours and fine detail of fauna and flora in paintings that simultaneously encompass a sweeping perspective of land and sky.
A similarly grand perspective, but of one particular story, are the ‘Seven Sisters’ paintings by two leading younger generation artists Athena Nangala Granites and Shanna Napanangka Williams from Warlukurlangu Aboriginal Artists of Yuendumu, some 250k north-west of Alice Springs.
The ‘Seven Sisters’, says McCulloch, is a very extensive Aboriginal mythology which relates the journey of seven ancestral sisters and is known in Aboriginal societies from the south of Australia to the most northerly regions. In many versions of the story, the sisters are chased by a man who wishes to abduct one, or all of the sisters who eventually escape by flying up to the sky to form the ‘Seven Sisters’ or Pleiades cluster of stars.
As the Pleiades is seen from just about every part of the world, there are strong mythological stories that similarly depict this star cluster as seven sisters in many different cultures including those of ancient Greece, Druid, Native American, Hindu, Polynesian and Japanese.
For the Warlpiri people of Yuendumu, the ‘Seven Sisters’ is painted by women of the same skin group as the sisters. The morning star, Venus, is believed to be a man from another group who is often portrayed in paintings as a single large star chasing the sisters across the night sky.
Opening the exhibition of these and other new paintings, ochres, barks and sculptures on December 7 is a unique Art Parade presentation of 50+ works of Aboriginal art.
Also featured for Christmas is a wide variety of small carvings, hand–painted metal dogs and licensed design homewares and other items – the sale of which both supports Aboriginal communities and makes for unusual Christmas gifts.
Upcoming at Everywhen in January is a Summer Collector’s Show of Aboriginal art from around Australia, featuring a selection of works from the McCulloch Collection of Contemporary Aboriginal Art.
The Christmas Art Parade opening is on December 7 at 2 pm and is a free event but places are limited and bookings essential online at mccullochart.eventbrite.com.au or as below.
The Christmas exhibition concludes on December 20.
Left: Kathleen Namina Rambler, My Father’s Country, 91 x 76cm. Courtesy of the artist and Artists of Ampilatwatja, Athena Nangala Granites. Below: Seven Sisters Dreaming, 152 x 61cm, Courtesy of the artist and Warlukurlangu Artists. Middle: Reusable shopping bags with designs licensed by Warlukurlangu Artists.
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