This is a detailed study of one of the world's great visual art traditions and its role in the society that produces it. The bark painting of Aboriginal artists in western Arnhem Land is the product of a unique tradition of many thousands of years duration. In recent years it has attracted enormous interest in the rest of Australia and beyond, with the result that the artists, who live primarily as hunters in this relatively secluded region of northern Australia, now paint for sale to the world art market. Though the richness and power of Aboriginal arts are now, belatedly, finding wide recognition, they remain insufficiently understood. In this book Luke Taylor examines the creative methods of the bark painters and the cultural meaning of their work. He discusses, on the one hand, the arrangements which allow the artists to project their culture onto an international stage, and on the other, the continuing social and religious roles of their paintings within their own society. The result is a picture of artistic creativity in a changing world.
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Luke Taylor is a Senior Curator at the National Museum of Australia. He has worked for the Australian Federal Government's Review of the Aboriginal Artsa and Crafts Industry, and held a Visiting Research Fellowship at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. In 1995/6 he was a visiting scholar at the National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan. He has published articles on Australian Aboriginal art and society, and he is co-editor of Marketing Aboriginal Art in the 1990s (Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, 1990).
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Book Description Oxford University Press, Oxford 1996, 1996. 22.5 x 14.0cms, 284pp, b/w illusts, very good+ ahrdback & dustwrapper The chapters are: the development of the market for bark paintings in Western Arnhem Land; Kunwinjky social organisation & land ownership; apprenticeship & the artists' social identity: themes & paintings in ceremonies; formal components of bark paintings; iconic representation; transforming figures; the meaning of x-ray paintings; metaphors & socialisation; innovation & social reproduction; glossary of Kunwinjku words. Scarce in hardback. Bookseller Inventory # 155738