World of Dreamings. Traditional and Modern Art
2 February - 9 April 2000
The exhibits on display illustrate the art of the peoples of six regions
of Australia - Arnhem Land, Kimberley, Desert, Cape York Peninsula and
town territories. The exhibition also includes two collective works: "The
Aboriginal Memorial" of the Ramingining artists and a group of sculptures
of the Wik arists from Aurukun.
The subjects for the pictures of Rover Thomas (1926-1998) from Wangkajunka
people are taken from ancient and modern history of Australia. In his
works Thomas very often turned to tragedies of the indigenous peoples
of Australia, for example, mass elimination of Aborigines at the beginning
of 20th century. His creative style is close in its spirit to the works
of art of the Western artists of 20th century.
The art of Emily Kame Kngwarreye (1910-1996) being under the influence
of Western art still vividly demonstrates national traditions.
The works of Nym Bunduk (1904-1981) are very seldom released to the public
arena. They are mostly paintings on bark. The exhibition includes his
conceptual paintings narrating about Murin-pata people.
The source of style of John Mawurndjul (born 1952) who paints his works
on the eucalyptus bark can be definitely found in the art of ritual body
The main subject of works of Fiona Foley (born 1964) is collision between
the traditional Aboriginal culture and the culture of white colonists.
To express this idea in her installations Foley uses combination of natural
materials with modern synthetic paints and metals.
The works of the photographer and producer Tracey Moffatt (born 1960)
who studies the problem of national self-consciousness are very popular
at the exhibitions in Europe and America.
The Aboriginal Memorial was constructed by 43 artists from Ramingining
region in the Northern Australia and is an installation of 200 painted
hollow log coffins for the bones of the perished people. The Memorial
was constructed in 1987-1988 when Austratia celebrated 200 anniversary
of the beginning of colonisation of this continent by the Europeans. It
is a peculiar sign of protest against many years of oppression of Aboriginal
people. The Memorail commemorates Aborigines who perished defending their
land in the course of 200 years of colonisation.