Bark Paintings 1930 - 2000
And New Works from Bula Bula
Opening: Saturday 9th July at 3pm
Seminar: Saturday 9th July at 1pm till 3pm
July 9th - August 6th
Artist Robyn Djunginy- WINNER 2011 National NAIDOC Artist of the Year; Yaja Hadrys - Curator at Bula’bula Arts; and Djon Mundine OAM- Indigenous curator will be in attendance.
Seminar Saturday 9th 1 - 3pm
Bark Paintings Revisited - The History and Content of Bark Paintings Presenters: Adrian Newstead and Djon Mundine OAM
Cost: $50 - afternoon tea will be provided
RSVP: email@example.com or (02) 9300 9233
Places restricted to 25 - book early to avoid disappointment
BARK PAINTING 1930-2000
This exhibition brings together works from a variety of regions, artists, styles and years across Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. The exhibition along with the seminar, will give people the opportunity to learn more about the different styles, the history and content of this unique art form that is only produced in such a small part of Australia. The works range from well known and highly collectible to those artists that are lesser known but historically important; 1930 until 2000; and a price point of $285 to $15,000. This is a unique opportunity to both learn about such fascinating art technique.
NEW WORKS FROM BULA BULA ARTS
A room of the gallery has been set aside for works from the Bula’Bula Art Centre in Ramingining, Northern Territory. Artist Robyn Djunginy - Finalist 2011 National NAIDOC Artist of the Year (winner announced award night 8th July); Yaja Hadrys - Curator at Bula’bula Arts; and Djon Mundine OAM - Indigenous curator will be in attendance.
Robyn Djunginy is a highly acclaimed fibre artist and painter. Her exhibition history spans two decades and includes participation in the 11th Biennale of Sydney (1998). She has also participated in a number of significant exhibitions in major galleries in Australia and other countries such as: USA, Switzerland, Spain, Russia and Taiwan.
Robyn is represented in several major collections such as: The Holmes a Court Collection, Perth; Kluge-Ruhe Collection, University of Virginia, USA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; National Gallery of Australia.
EXPLORING THE ARNHEM LAND BARK TRADITION
For time in memoriam Aboriginal people flattened and cured bark slabs cut from trees using fire and hot rocks in order to make canoes, shelters, baskets, and ceremonial regalia with little more than stone and shell tools.
However, apart from decorative utilitarian and ceremonial objects, bark was not used for making art until Professor Baldwin Spencer first visited Western Arnhem Land in the 1920’s. When he commissioned bark paintings for his own collection and for the National Museum of Victoria Spencer earned the distinction of becoming the first real patron of Aboriginal ‘Art’. And as a consequence, he set in motion a train of production that was to bring Aboriginal culture to the outside world.
Many collectors followed Spencer after his death in 1929. The most prominent during the 1930’s to 1960’s were the anthropologists Charles Mountford, who showed bark paintings throughout America in 1945, and Catherine and Roland Berndt who staged the first gallery exhibition of bark art in David Jones, Sydney in 1949.
By the 1960’s more than 1000 bark paintings had been created and particular artist names began to emerge as distinguishable for the first time. The great Yirawala, for instance, was propelled into the limelight during the 1960’s by Sandra Le Brun and her filmmaker husband Cecil Holmes (their biography and documentary marked the first time an individual Aboriginal artist had been championed as an art ‘star’).
Yet, during the 1970’s, desert art (first conceived at Papunya) proved irresistibly alluring. In time this new story, written in vibrant colours across the canvas of Australian art history, inexorably displaced Arnhem Band bark painting from the epicentre of the great aracna of Aboriginal art.
In spite of this, many bark painters have exhibited to wide acclaim since that time. They have included David Malangi, Peter Maralwanga, John Mawwurndjurl and Phillip Gundaykudthay amongst countless others.
Coo-ee Gallery is delighted to be able to show works by many of these artists in this exhibition. Alongside their paintings are those by others who, though included in many of the finest museum collections, have been overlooked, or largely disappeared through the mists of time.