Painter’s palette

By: Louk Vreeswijk

Jun 07 2015

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Category: Australia, Oceania

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Aperture:f/3.2
Focal Length:17.2mm
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Aboriginal artists from Arnhem Land in the north of Australia don’t really use a palette. Most of the time they work while sitting on the floor and the space around them gradually gets more and more stained with the clay paint they use for their barks. On the photo we see a worktable at the art centre in Oenpelli. At the top of the picture the hand of an artist holds a small unfinished bark painting of a fish, while the table itself has gathered over time layers of paint in different colours, and even drawings of animals and other objects. I find the table more interesting than the small bark painting that was made on it. And that makes one think.

Quite a number of Aboriginal artists produce relatively small and simple works for the tourist market. Not too expensive, and easy to carry home. But the quality and integrity of the work easily lose out. The genuine Aboriginal artist shouldn’t lend himself for this practice.

Photo of the week: Oenpelli, Injalak Arts, Arnhem Land, Australia 2013

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