10 septembre 2020
Aboriginal Women’s Art
Although women have always been prolific artists in Aboriginal societies, the importance of their work was not widely recognized until recently. Collectors who acquired women’s paintings, fibre arts and carvings during the nineteenth century, failed to understand that female artists worked separately from men and their works had distinctive uses and meanings. At that time, European explorers and researchers were predominantly male and Aboriginal women did not display sacred images or reveal aspects of their religion to men.
The division between men’s and women’s ceremonies and art forms is explained by elderly men in Arnhem Land who admit that in ancient times women owned all sacred rituals and exerted spiritual authority over men. But they were careless with that knowledge so men took it and have excluded women from important ceremonies ever since. In fact, women have their own ceremonies, ritual knowledge and repertoire of symbols and meanings. In regions such as Melville and Bathurst Islands, they take an active role with men in carving, painting, dancing and composing songs although older men confirm the correctness and quality of their work.
AADC – Emily Kame Kngwarreye as at 2019 was the No.1 ranked of the The Top 200 Aboriginal Artists. Followed by Rover Thomas, Albert Namatjira, Lin Onus, and Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri respectively.
Image APY Lands senior female artists Paniny Mick, left, and Wawiriya Burton in front of the APY women’s painting of the seven sisters story. Photograph: Tjala Arts
Bien sûr et la preuve!