In October an exhibition of Aboriginal art work featuring several hundred paintings will open in Bucharest in Romania.
It is the brainchild of an entrepreneurial executive in Romania who come out to Australia and was entranced by the Aboriginal art.
He saw a deep connection between what has happened in Australia and the scenario in his own country. He observed a very ancient Australian culture finding a way to reach into the contemporary world through art. He saw this was achieved while holding the traditions and holding the symbols and meanings, everything that is significant to the indigenous culture.
His name is Dan Cristea and he observed that art provided a way to open a conversation with a much wider part of the country that is not generally closely integrated or connected with the Aboriginal culture.
What Cristea saw happening in Australia excited him. He has a vision of similarly offering guest workshops and programs that might regenerate the folkloric tradition that has existed in Romania that was deeply suppressed over the last half century under Soviet rule.
Cristea has organized a very large aboriginal exhibition called "The Dreaming". The exhibition includes a big cross section of work, from northern Queensland right through the Central Desert into the Western Desert, and including the Kimberley and some from Arnhem Land.
It is a single man's vision, and it is a very exciting concept. He feels he will get a good response from the community in Bucharest. He feels they will be surprised, amazed and delighted to see what is happening with Aboriginal art work.
I think he also hopes that this work will feed the vision of his group called Seeds Association. It is his hope that seeds of creativity and seeds of positivity that will come from this Aboriginal exhibition will feed into the artistic tradition of rural Romania.
We're sending over 100 paintings along with photos and cultural information and there are other galleries involved. The timeline was challenging for the organisers. They will be educating as well as exhibiting for their local community. There will be didactic boards and information and a website and Facebook page to give people the background that they might need.
For the majority of people who walk into the exhibition it will be their first opportunity to see Aboriginal art. The organisers are attempting to give enough background information for people to be able to at least grasp the founding ideas that are involved in the Aboriginal art work.
It is an exciting project and I am looking forward to seeing how it is received by the people of Romania.