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Colours of the Earth

Colours of the Earth

Gallery 2 - Online Exhibition

10 December 2014– 10 February 2015

Colours of the Earth

Aboriginal culture is closely associated with life lived close to the land. Knowledge of the natural world is an essential part of the skills of traditional societies that lived as hunters and gatherers, and took on the role as stewards or custodians of the country.

While the Central Desert art movement has seen the proliferation of more colourful paintings over recent decades, many artists chose to remain with the earth colours. Traditional ochre colours associated with Aboriginal art prior to 1970 were sourced from the earth – red and yellow oxides, charcoal black and white clay.

Communities that have maintained the use of ochre painting are strong in the northern regions – in the Kimberley in Western Australia and Arnhem Land in Northern territory.  The artists of Warmun have established a highly recognisable style using ochre pigments and often incorporating a side-on view of landscape merged with a aerial perspective. This allows the artist to show the profiles of the hills and ranges while often showing waterholes and tracks as though seen from above. The distinctive composition of simple shapes is reinforced by strong blocks of earth colours, sometimes highlighted by border lines of white dots.

Many Pintupi artists from the Kintore region on the West Australian and Northern Territory border country have preferred to use acrylic paints, but to maintain the more earth coloured palette. The bold symbols derived from sand paintings that often using repetitive patterning, are given a reinforced notion of their heritage by the earth colours.

Arnhem Land artists have used their ancient history of rock art painting to inform their contemporary art, using both the natural ochres and the rarrk or cross hatching designs that are unique to this part of Australia. Arnhem Land artists tend to use a more figurative approach to their art, including animals, birds, spirit figures and artefacts – boats and aspects of the white settler culture.

The exhibition is selected form a range of artists whose work features the use of earth tones and in some cases raw earth pigments. The artists include Kimberley ochre painters Marcia Purdie, June Peters and Tommy Carroll; Western Desert artists Esther Giles Nampitjinpa, Lorna Ward Napanangka, Maisie Campbell Napaltjarri, Eileen Napaltjarri, Thomas Tjapaltjarri, Ray James Jangala, Walala Tjapaltjarri; and Central Desert artist Maureen Hudson Nampijinpa.

Maureen Hudson Nampijinpa
Maisie Campbell Napaltjarri
Joylene Reid Napangardi
Lorna Ward Napanangka
Eileen Napaltjarri
Kim Butler Napurrula
Marcia Purdie
June Peters
Thomas Tjapaltjarri
Walala Tjapaltjarri

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Tingari by Walala Tjapaltjarri

Walala Tjapaltjarri  |  Tingari

Jap 008963  |  acrylic on linen  |  152 x 122 cm

Coreyuldo Tjukurrpa – Owl Dreaming by Esther Giles Nampitjinpa

Esther Giles Nampitjinpa  |  Coreyuldo Tjukurrpa – Owl Dreaming

Jap 008267  |  acrylic on canvas  |  91 x 76 cm

Marrapinti by Lorna Ward Napanangka

Lorna Ward Napanangka  |  Marrapinti

Jap 010253  |  acrylic on linen  |  122 x 84 cm

Bow River Junction by Marcia Purdie

Marcia Purdie  |  Bow River Junction

Jap 011220  |  ochre on canvas  |  50 x 40 cm

Women’s Ceremonies by Kim Butler Napurrula

Kim Butler Napurrula   |  Women’s Ceremonies

Jap 009990  |  acrylic on linen  |  122 x 91 cm

Tjiturrulpa Rockhole by Eileen Napaltjarri

Eileen Napaltjarri  |  Tjiturrulpa Rockhole

Jap 008693  |  acrylic on linen  |  122 x 91 cm

Purnululu by Marcia Purdie

Marcia Purdie  |  Purnululu

Jap 011222  |  ochre on canvas  |  91 x 60 cm

Women’s Ceremony by Joylene Reid Napangardi

Joylene Reid Napangardi  |  Women’s Ceremony

Jap 011151  |  acrylic on linen  |  152 x 45 cm

Tingari by Thomas Tjapaltjarri

Thomas Tjapaltjarri  |  Tingari

Jap 008689  |  acrylic on linen  |  152 x 122 cm

Tjukurrpa – Women by Maisie Campbell Napaltjarri

Maisie Campbell Napaltjarri  |  Tjukurrpa – Women

Jap 008412  |  acrylic on linen  |  152 x 122 cm

Women’s Ceremonies by Kim Butler Napurrula

Kim Butler Napurrula  |  Women’s Ceremonies

Jap 011150  |  acrylic on linen  |  111 x 36 cm

Warranunj – Eagle Dreaming by June Peters

June Peters  |  Warranunj – Eagle Dreaming

Jap 011248  |  ochre on canvas  |  61 x 46 cm

Tali – Sand Dunes by Maureen Hudson Nampijinpa

Maureen Hudson Nampijinpa   |  Tali – Sand Dunes

Jap 011148  |  acrylic on linen  |  91 x 76 cm

Tingari by Thomas Tjapaltjarri

Thomas Tjapaltjarri  |  Tingari

Jap 009985  |  acrylic on linen  |  122 x 91 cm

Marrapinti by Lorna Ward Napanangka

Lorna Ward Napanangka  |  Marrapinti

Jap 008851  |  acrylic on linen  |  152 x 46 cm

The Monsoon by Marcia Purdie

Marcia Purdie  |  The Monsoon

Jap 011246  |  ochre on canvas  |  61 x 46 cm

Women’s Ceremony by Kim Butler Napurrula

Kim Butler Napurrula  |  Women’s Ceremony

Jap 010139  |  acrylic on canvas  |  30 x 30 cm

Tali – Sand Dunes by Maureen Nampijinpa Hudson

Maureen Nampijinpa Hudson   |  Tali – Sand Dunes

Jap 011144  |  acrylic on linen  |  112 x 101 cm

Women’s Ceremony by Maisie Campbell Napaltjarri

Maisie Campbell Napaltjarri  |  Women’s Ceremony

Jap 011145  |  acrylic on linen  |  62 x 62 cm

Three Sisters’ Dreaming by Marcia Purdie

Marcia Purdie  |  Three Sisters’ Dreaming

Jap 011259  |  ochre on canvas  |  61 x 46 cm

Waterbird & Nest by Roy Yilidjirri

Roy Yilidjirri  |  Waterbird & Nest

Jap 010637  |  ochre on bark  |  76 x 46 cm

Sandy Creek by June Peters

June Peters  |  Sandy Creek

Jap 011263  |  ochre on canvas  |  61 x 46 cm

Daiwul – Barramundi Dreaming by June Peters

June Peters  |  Daiwul – Barramundi Dreaming

Jap 011223  |  ochre on canvas  |  46 x 35 cm

Women’s Ceremony by Lorna Brown Napanangka

Lorna Brown Napanangka  |  Women’s Ceremony

Jap 009730  |  acrylic on canvas  |  30 x30 cm

My Country by Janet Nolan

Janet Nolan  |  My Country

Jap 010186  |  acrylic on canvas  |  30 x 30 cm

Red Butte by June Peters

June Peters  |  Red Butte

Jap 011264  |  ochre on canvas  |  61 x 46 cm

Yunala by Ray James Tjangala

Ray James Tjangala  |  Yunala

Jap 008695  |  acrylic on linen  |  112 x 102 cm

Echidna Chasm – Purnululu by June Peters

June Peters  |  Echidna Chasm – Purnululu

Jap 011249  |  ochre on canvas  |  46 x 35 cm

My Country by Josephine Nangala

Josephine Nangala  |  My Country

Jap 010257  |  acrylic on linen  |  102 x 51 cm

Massacre at Mistake Creek by Marcia Purdie

Marcia Purdie  |  Massacre at Mistake Creek

Jap 011256  |  ochre on canvas  |  61 x 46 cm

North of Speewah by Tommy Carroll

Tommy Carroll  |  North of Speewah

Jap 000980  |  ochre on canvas  |  125 x 90 cm

Purnululu by Marcia Purdie

Marcia Purdie  |  Purnululu

Jap 011247  |  ochre on canvas  |  46 x 35 cm

Picanninny Gorge by June Peters

June Peters  |  Picanninny Gorge

Jap 011261  |  ochre on canvas  |  76 x 50 cm

Yunala by Ray James Jangala

Ray James Jangala  |  Yunala

Jap 010256  |  acrylic on linen  |  152 x 122 cm

Sugar Leaf Dreaming by June Peters

June Peters  |  Sugar Leaf Dreaming

Jap 011254  |  ochre on canvas  |  46 x 35 cm

 

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