Aboriginal Art is the oldest form of artistic expression in the world. There are images in the caves of the Northern Territory’s Arnhem Land that date back to 60,000 years.
Papunya, a settlement 240km North-West of Alice Springs, has been heralded as the birthplace of Contemporary Indigenous Art. In 1971, school teacher Geoffrey Bardon encouraged some men from the Western Desert to paint their dreaming stories onto canvas. Stories only previously drawn on desert sand. This particular Western Desert style derives from the artist's knowledge of traditional body and sand paintings associated with ceremony. To portray these Dreamtime creation stories for the public has required the removal of sacred symbols and careful monitoring of ancestral designs. In some instances, a new “dotting” technique was adopted to hide sacred elements. This “dotting” technique has now become synonymous with Indigenous Art.
The Story of the Dot explores the “dotting” motif and will feature paintings from Papunya Tula, and artists Peg Leg Tjamitjinpa, Willy Tjungurrayi, Michelle Possum Nungarrayi, and Walala Tjapaltjarri.