In Black and White
August 26, 2011 - October 12, 2011
In a world where plasma screens and media images flash at us in myriad colours, Aboriginal art, when pared back to its most basic concepts, can be a revelation in design and structure. So it is with the current exhibition In Black and White at Japingka Gallery. The paintings, mostly from the western desert, vary from the most intricate patterns of desert sandhills or woven fish nets, through to schematic depictions of soakages and rockholes, and bold linear designs showing ‘spear-making’ trees and Tingari motifs.
Twenty seven indigenous artists have contributed to this exhibition, including many of the best known artists of their regions. All of these artists have steered away from the use of strong colour, which largely defines the look of western desert art, and in its place used a minimalist palette of black and white, occasionally adding one extra earth colour for contrast. The iconography of creation stories and topographical maps are particularly eloquent in the drama of these largely two-toned canvases.
Many of these Aboriginal artists have built their reputations on their signature use of black and white, through which they aim to create an energetic field that conjures up the traditional world of their desert homelands. Dorothy Napangardi is a well-known example. Painting the crusted structures of the salt lake at the women’s ceremonial grounds at Mina Mina, she recreates the power and importance of this ancestral site. Other famous women artists who work in this way include Lilly Kelly Napangardi, Ngoia Pollard Naplatjarri and Anna Price Petyarre, whose drifting images of their ancestral country, showing sandhills, dry river-beds and rockholes, capture the moving profile of the desert landscape.
This is a rare opportunity to view a collection of the finest works by some of Australia’s top and most highly regarded Indigenous artists, wirth special contributions from Mijili Napanangka Gibson, Helen McCarthy Tjalmuty and Ningura Napurrula.
Further information on exhibiting artists can be found at the following links-
Dorothy Napangardi Artwork
Dorothy Napangardi: Groundbreaking Australian Artist
Yinarupa Gibson Nangala Artwork
Ningura Napurrula Artwork
Maureen Hudson Nampijinpa Artwork
Mitjili Napanangka Gibson Artwork
Kerry Madawyn McCarthy Artwork
Fabrianne Peterson Artwork
Anna Petyarre Artwork