Literature in our Collection

Sutton, Peter (Hg.): Dreamings. The Art of Aboriginal Australia, Penguin Books Australia, Ringwood 1988, Ausst. Kat., ISBN 0670824496

Table of Contents        ¦         Cover Text        ¦         Book Review

Table of Contents

Funding, Acknowledgements and Lenders to the Exhibition -vi-

Lester Russell: Foreword -vii-

Andrew Pekarik: Preface -ix-

Maps -xi-

Peter Sutton and Christopher Anderson: Introduction -1-

Peter Sutton: Dreamings -13-

Peter Sutton: Responding to Aboriginal Art -33-

Peter Sutton: The Morphology of Feeling -59-

Christopher Anderson and Francoise Dussart: Dreamings in Acrylic: Western Desert Art -89-

Philip Jones: Perceptions of Aboriginal Art: A History -143-

Peter Suttonk, Philip Jones, and Steven Hemming: Survival, Regeneration, and Impact -180-

Peter Sutton: Postscript -213-

Catalogue -215-

Biographies of the Artists -235-

Notes -243-

References -254-

Index -262-

Acknowledgements -265-

Photograph and Collection Credits -266-

Cover Text

"Dreamings. The Art of Aboriginal Australia" introduces the reader to the extraordinary and arresting art practised by a unique people. Through illuminating narrative and with over 150 full colour illustrations, this book reveals a culture which is among the most ancient known, yet one whose artistic vitality is remarkable. In both traditional and more recently introduced media, Aboriginal artists evoke their beliefs about the universe and their relationships with places, animals, plants and other people. Why they do this, and what their art and beliefs mean in today's world, are in part the subject of this book. With insight and clarity, the authors describe the key concept of the 'Dreaming', which is the foundation of traditional Aboriginal thought. In classical Aboriginal culture the Dreaming is the underlying, power-filled ground of reality. It is also History, because it was in the Dreaming, which is a time out of time, that Ancestral Beings moved about, forming the landscape and creating the plants, animals and peoples of the known world. Images of these Beings, of where they travelled and lived and of their experiences, make up the greatest single source of imagery in Aboriginal art. These Beings are the Dreamings. Dr Sutton and his colleagues examine not only the religious basis of much of the art, but also the aesthetic system and stylistic patterns the works reveal. Non-Aboriginal responses to Aboriginal art over two hundred years are analysed, and for the first time a history of studies of Aboriginal art is presented. A chapter focused on the production of acrylic paintings in the Western Desert area of Central Australia is also a unique feature of this treatment. The art presented in this book has been carefully selected to illustrate the key ideas around which the discussion revolves. The works include acrylic paintings from Central Australia, bark paintings from Arnhem Land, sculptures from Cape York Peninsula and the Lake Eyre region, as well as a variety of works from the far west and south-east of the continent. Important innovations have recently occurred in style, colour, media and iconography emphasising more that ever the persistent vitality of Aboriginal art. In being introduced to the art of Aboriginal Australia the reader will see something of the timeless value of the oldest continuous art tradition in the world.