Aboriginal artwork on display in National Museum of Australia

Published: Monday 31 December 2007

Down to Earth A unique exhibition of western desert Aboriginal artwork from the Papunya art movement went on display at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra in the last week of November. During the 1970s and early 1980s artists in the Northern Territory community of Papunya created a collection of works that improved the understanding of aboriginal art worldwide.

Dot painting became popular during the Papunya Tula art movement, bringing together themes of land and people through vibrant colours. The new exhibition--Papunya Painting Out of the Desert--features more than 40 canvases, most of which have never been displayed. The National Museum's Michael Pickering says, "The exhibition shows how Papunya art acts as a mediator between the audience and the stories the paintings tell. The significance of the works extends beyond the aesthetic to tell us about the lives, beliefs, world views, iconography and aspirations of the artists." The exhibition will be on display until February.

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