One Sun One Moon:
Aboriginal Art in Australia
Hetti Perkins (ed)
AGNSW 368 pp RRP: $120
One Sun One Moon is not only a gift to the art world, but a gift to us all, as it brings together for the first time the most celebrated Aboriginal artists and their works in a deliciously comprehensive book. It is in itself, a work of art with over 240 colour images, giving readers access to works most of us will never see close up if at all, from the late Rover Thomas’ ochred landscapes to Destiny Deacon’s social observations through photography.
The book is divided by regions and includes 27 essays by leading authorities and 13 interviews with key artists.
In “Art from the North” you will read about and view artwork from Arnhem Land, the Wadeye-Daly River Region and Yolgnu culture, and get an insight into artists such as Banduk Marika and John Bulunbulun, both recipients of the Australia Council’s prestigious Red Ochre Award.
In “Desert Art” there’s a fabulous essay by Alison French on engaging with Albert Namatjira’s art, but of course the highlight of this section is seeing his landscapes. They are magnificent.
World-renowned Papunya Tula Artists are also included in the “Desert Art” section with an essay by Hetti Perkins and Hannah Fink and for those who weren’t fortunate enough to see the Genesis and Genius exhibition as part of the Sydney 2000 Olympics, here is your opportunity.
In this section you’ll also read about and view art from Utopia and enjoy conversations with Kathleen Petyarr and Bobby West Tjuppurrula.
In “Art of the Kimberly”, we learn about contemporary art of the East Kimberly and collaborative processes and cultural projects in Fitzroy Crossing, with a conversation with Peter Skippen.
One of the most interesting sections for me, and perhaps showing my city-slicker bias, was the “New Visions” section showcasing urban art and artists with an essay by Brenda L Croft on the political renaissance in Indigenous Art in Australia, which sits well alongside conversations with visual artist Judy Watson and weaver Yvonne Koolmatrie.
This section also includes the etchings of Roy Kennedy, Kevin Gilbert’s lino cuts, Lin Onus’s fruit bat installation, Harry Wedge’s daunting paintings, with Mervyn Bishop’s, Rickey Maynard’s and Brenda L Croft’s photographs.
The book also contains a chronology of art movements and exhibitions, a glossary, regional maps and bibliography.
The works featured in this volume come from the Art Gallery New South Wales, Holmes a Court Collection, Heytesbury and the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. And for many they may not get to all, or any of these galleries in their lifetime. So here is the perfect gift.
Give this book to someone special for Christmas. Give it to yourself and get your local library to order it in so the local community can enjoy it as well.
I gave it to my 8-year-old nephew who wants to paint so he can be inspired by the great Aboriginal artists that have paved the way. When he is old enough he will read the essays for further inspiration.
TO ORDER CONTACT:
THE GALLERY SHOP
tel: 02 9225 1733 fax: 02 9225 1630
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Domain, Sydney 2000