Aboriginal affairs

Desert paintings

CLAUDIA ARGOMENTI

An art exhibition representing the Spinifex Aboriginal People’s native title claim experience, capturing their history and struggle through vivid images, it is now on show at the John Curtin Gallery.

The Spinifex people from the Great Victoria Desert have amassed an impressive collection of collaborative and individual paintings, as well as a video about their history.

The two main collaborative paintings are the Men’s Combined and the Women’s Combined, representing the people’s relationship to their land.

Gallery director Chris Malcolm said the most unusual characteristic of the Spinifex paintings were produced by more than one artist.

“Their paintings celebrate their culture,” Mr Malcolm said.

“They celebrate their connection to the country.

“They celebrate their stories.

“They celebrate their relationships.”

Mr Malcolm amid Pawi 1998, Kungarra 1999, Kulyuru 1997 and Ngalkuritjara 1999.

The exhibition was created for the fifteenth anniversary of the Spinifex Art Project, which helped the people claim their land back after they were forced to leave in 1950 due to the British testing of atomic bombs.

One of the exhibition’s curators, Carly Lane, is really enthusiastic about the aims and successes of the exhibition.

“It’s great to see a body of work from one community across a 15-year period, since audiences get to see the continuities and developments that have happened among individual artists and the artists collectively,” Ms Lane said.

John Curtin Gallery is at the Bentley Campus of Curtin University. The exhibition runs until October 12.

Photography: Claudia Argomenti.

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