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Both Aboriginal & Western Australian artists have common inspiration
Australian Art – Common inspiration

When combined with abstraction, the works of Australian western artists seem to correspond with the Dreamtime painting, which is also very geometrical and hardly figurative, two characteristics of modern art. Christopher Hodges, for example, borrows from the Aboriginal symbolic system the way he represents water holes, i.e. with concentric circles. Rosalie Gascoigne's works sometimes resorts to the Aboriginal technique of satellite vision. Finally, in spite of the Japanese influence of her work, Wilma Tabacco's undulating colorful lines seem to echo the desert sand Dunes one can find in Helicopter Tjungurrayi's paintings or those from Balgo.

Western and Aboriginal arts: two sides of contemporary Australian art.

There is no boundary between Aboriginal art and western art. Each artist draws different elements from his own environment and makes a synthesis of them in his works to enrich it. Thus, Linda Syddick Napaljarri, an Aboriginal artist, offers a syncretic view of original myths and Christian childhood memories. The great Aboriginal Ancestors she represents are sometimes haloed like Byzantine icons.


More generally, artists from the Great Central Desert have chosen to paint on canvas, which is a better means of commercialization than their traditional ground or body paintings, which, by the way, is no invention of the 1970's, since this artistic practice has been known in Aboriginal and pre-Colombian cultures for ages. On the other hand, Arnhem Land artists have introduced figurative elements in their works, to make them easier to understand for the public, without revealing their secrets.

Among western artists, Rosalie Gascoigne can be noted for her use of the technique of satellite vision she borrows from Aboriginal painting to create her "Urban landscapes". In Urban Traffic, the © of Schweppes boxes she uses echoes the Aboriginal symbol of the "U", representing – among other things – the people taking part in a religious ceremony. Annie Franklin also takes up the Aboriginal technique of satellite vision in her engraving work.

Finally, the earth is the first source of inspiration for Australian artists. It is, for the Aboriginal community, the maternal symbol of the origins and represents in a way, for the western community, their adoptive country as well as an environment they always need to tame.

Throughout the millenniums for the ones, and the centuries for the other, each one has been eager to represent their own history. The Aboriginals' dates back to the creation of Australia and blends with their personal and tribal history. On the contrary, the history of the western Australians is much more recent and includes feats belonging to great History and more trivial events (such as the figure of highwayman Ned Kelly painted by Sidney Nolan).

But what is certain is that the notion of origin is obviously a theme which makes a difference between the two communities. For the Aboriginals, it has been self-evident for generations and still has a major role in society by defining each individual's social, spiritual and human identity, whereas for the Anglo-Saxon Australians, or those descended from immigrants (Asian immigrants, for example), the main reference belongs to western culture or the culture of their birth country.

  Some references:
Musée du Quai Branly, Musée des Confluences à Lyon, Musée d'Art Contemporain les Abattoirs à Toulouse, Musée des Arts d’Afrique et d’Asie de Vichy, Musée de la Musique, Museum d'histoire naturelle de Lille, Musée de Rochefort, Fondation Electricité de France, Fondation Colas, Banque Dexia ...

We are members of the Chambre Nationale des Experts Spécialisés en Objets d'Art et de Collection (C.N.E.S.)*
We are members of the Comité Professionnel des Galeries d'Art
*National French Chamber of experts specialized in artworks
Comité des Galeries d'Art