Literature in our Collection

Stourton, Patrick Corbally: Songlines and Dreamings. Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art, Lund Humphries Publ., London 1996, ISBN 0853316910

Table of Contents        ¦         Cover Text        ¦         Book Review

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements -6-

Giels Auty: Foreword -7-

Introduction -9-

The Aboriginal People: The Original Inhabitants of Australia -13-

Aboriginal Art before 1971 -16-

The Mythology of Dreamings -20-

The Interpretation of Desert Paintings -22-

Papunya Tula: The Start of the Movement -24-

Papunya Tula: The First Quarter-century -26-

The Artists and Their Paintings: Colour Plates 1-190 -29-

The Next Twenty-five Years -186-

Glossary -188-

Select Bibliography -190-

Index of Artists -192-

Cover Text

The art of the Australian Aborigines is widely recognised as being the oldest art form in the world, preceding that of the Americas and Europa by many centuries. For thousands of years, however, the only art forms practised by the Aborigines were rock painting and carving, bark painting, sand painting and body painting using natural ochres, wild desert cotton, charcoal and birds' down, often carried out as part of ceremonial activities. It was not until 1971 that the Aborigines of the Papunya Tula settlement in the desert of the Northern Territory were introduced to methods of painting on canvas and board using modern materials. For the first time they were making art specifically for a Western audience and thus the spectacular nature of contemporary Aboriginal art made its impact on the international art scene. This book commemorates the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Papunya Tula painting movement - the birthplace of contemporary Aboriginal painting. It is the first book to look specifically at Papunya Tula paintings and to celebrate this rich and productive period in the often unhappy story of a dispossessed people. The work of eighty Papunya Tula artists, including some of the best known Aboriginal painters - Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Michael Nelson Tjakamarra and Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri - is illustrated in this book in two hundred full-colour reproductions which demonstrate the vibrancy and sophistication of the art. Patrick Corbally Stourton's introductory text examines the events which led to the birth of this extraordinary painting movement, and illuminates the mythology of Dreamings which lies behind every Aboriginal painting.