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Old Masters: Bark artists from Australia 1930s–1990s
Exhibition coming to Canberra
From 6 December 2013 to 20 July 2014
The National Museum of Australia’s Old Masters: Bark artists from Australia 1930s–1990s exhibition is a celebration of Australia’s greatest bark painters. The genius and craft of master artists, representing diverse schools and regions from northern Australia, will be on display in the Museum’s biggest ever exhibition of bark paintings.
Bark painting belongs to the canon of great Australian art movements, the finest works of which typify an Australian ‘high art’ that is intimately connected to history, environment and culture. The Museum holds stunning works by some of the country’s best artists within its collection, renowned as key figures in their particular styles and approaches to the medium.
This exhibition highlights the dramatic contrast between different approaches to bark painting. Each artist tells a different story: Yirawala brings to life epic narratives of giants and ghosts; Narbadayal Nadjamerrek’s keen eye recreates the form and anatomy of the kangaroo, which he also painted on rock shelters; Narritjin Maymuru depicts the poetic and mystical underpinnings of existence.
Old Masters features a range of styles, from uncluttered line work from the early contact period of Groote Eylandt to rrark cross-hatching that shimmers across eastern Arnhem Land, physical movement and energy captured in still-frame from western Arnhem Land, and intricate shapes and designs from the Tiwi Islands and Wadeye (Port Keats) region.
Come and be enthralled at Australia’s own Old Masters, on show at the National Museum of Australia from December 2013 to July 2014.