Saturday, April 2, 2011

Desert art and off to Tiwi

As many of you know, we have been on the road, many roads, for a month or so now and are heading off again tomorrow.

One leg of our journeys took us to Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. Alice is hot, dry desert country and stunningly beautiful at the moment after so much summer rain. The bright blue sky, the red red earth and the grey green foliage erupting everywhere.

We were fortunate to have some time after work to go looking in galleries. There is an abundance of Aboriginal art to be viewed in Alice Springs and we enjoyed wandering around, looking at the different techniques and styles.

We actually already have a fair bit of Aboriginal art in our house and were excited to see some well-priced work by artists we already own and or have always admired. And some new work by new artists as well. Here's what we bought:

My favourite piece from this trip (Tingari) by Walala Tjapaltjarri. Walala was born in about 1963 and is known as one of a family group of about 9 desert folk who walked out of the bush/desert in 1984 (he was about 21) and discovered white people for the first time. Tells a bit about the vastness of this land.

Another favourite artist Kudditji Kngwarreye. Kudditji was the first artist we ever bought and we have a great affection for his work. This (My Country) is stunning I think.

Gloria Petyarre - This is classic Gloria and the first of her pieces we have bought. I love the black and white starkness of this piece (Bush Medicine).

A new artist to us - but the abstract nature of this work kept talking to us. It felt like when Picasso started making square circles - the usual circles of water holes and so on are are depicted more abstractly here. Tingari by Nyilari Tjapangati. (Tingari stories provide the foundation for the tribal beliefs of the Pintupi people).

Tomorrow we head to Pirlangimpi on Melville Island - one of the Tiwi islands north of Darwin.  It is hot, humid, sub tropical country - very different to the desert but we are sure we will see some more beautiful art up there.  And we'll be working!


  1. All stunning pieces in different ways - look forward to seeing them on the walls. Go well :) xoxoxo

  2. Lovely choices!! I would enjoy an art tour around your house and garden.

  3. Hi N - yes they are all different and all lovely (imho!). We'll get them on the walls one of these days!

    Robyn - thanks! You'd be more than welcome you know - if you ever get a trip to this side of the world... It's always nice to visit other artists' homes and sticky beak!

  4. beautiful works! hope you find even more in your next travels.... have fun

  5. Love the new art, particularly Gloria Petyarre's black and white piece. Is it painted? Looks as if it is flower petals delicately placed.

  6. walking out of the bush and finding white people in 1984. totally amazing story. travel safely. you two seem to be on the move constantly!

  7. What stunning choices. It adds a whole new layer of interest to hear the stories behind the art. Thank you for giving us the tour!

  8. As a great fan of contemporary Aboriginal work I'm quite envious. Beautiful choice of pieces Fiona.

  9. I love these pieces, F! So timeless, full of a history and culture utterly alien to me and yet also feeling new, familiar, speaking to me of what is meaningful in the here and now. Thanks for sharing! And keep those bloodthirsty beasties away from Barry!

  10. Hi Ronnie - we'll be looking for sure!

    Jennifer - yes they are all acrylic on linen and the wispy nature of Gloria's brushstrokes is very evocative of petals or feathers...

    V - We feel as if we are in perpetual motion at the moment but are looking forward to island time!

    Leslie - Thanks! There are always stories with this art and I too enjoy knowing a bit of them.

    Jo - yes some fabulous work isn't there?

    G/TT - Shall do my best to avoid more leeches up north. Glad you enjoyed the pieces - they are strong, bold, ancient and new.

  11. Oh, to have a Gloria Petyarre on my wall! Love to know that you have one - and all your choices are wonderful. Enjoy the rest of the trip and I hope you find more great art to buy.

  12. Wow! what beautiful work. You are so lucky to own these. I love the top one best - those colours and the gentle order/disorder that's happening.

  13. ooh... lovely, thanks for sharing fiona. Good luck with the next leg of your travels, but am sure it will all go well!


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