Australian Artist Gordon Bennett Dies

australian artist gordon bennett

The Australian artist Gordon Bennett passed away on the 3rd of June. Reports have said the artist died of natural causes. Born in Queensland in 1955, of Aboriginal descent, Bennett tackled issues of race in Australia, indigenous heritage, global events, social issues and identity. His work hangs in most art museums around Australia and a number of important collections around the world. Continue Reading

Old Aboriginal Masters

aboriginal bark painting

I’m almost tempted to get in the car and go see this exhibition in Canberra (4 or 5 hours drive) but I’m living in a house with no kitchen, no shower and quite a few missing walls, so I have to get my priorities straight. I’ll leave in the morning! No, just kidding, renovations are ridiculously expensive and I really do want a kitchen. The Old Masters exhibition is on until the 20th of July though, so I could still get there yet.Continue Reading

The Blake Prize Finalists for 2013

toothed vagina

The finalists for the 62nd Blake Prize in Australia have been announced. It’s supposed to be a prize that explores religious and spiritual ideas in art but it’s probably more about who can be the most shocking and vulgar. Being the shit stirrers that a lot of artists are, it’s a great opportunity to share vaginas with teeth, boys masturbating each other and a whole bunch of other wanking good fun with a wider audience. Continue Reading

Bush Football – Dinni Kunoth Kemarre

Mixing sport and art is a lot like mixing oil and water, jews and muslims, christians and atheists, or any other unlikely combination which doesn’t mix well. But like any generalization, it is often proven to be not entirely true. Sometimes a jew will marry a muslim, a christian will convert an atheist, and good art will be inspired by sport.

I think the sculpture of Dinni Kunoth Kemarre at the upcoming “Bush Football” exhibition (nothing to do with George W. or soccer) at the Mossenson Gallery, Melbourne proves me wrong; art and sport can mix.Continue Reading

Aboriginal Art Auction

The best art to come out of Australia is Aboriginal art, both old and contemporary Aboriginal art. Everything else in Australian art is either derivative and/or regional and will never leave the shores of Australia.

The best Aboriginal art deserves so much more credit than it currently receives. Auction prices for Aboriginal art have been increasing and international collectors are buying more but I think it should be getting a lot more loving than it does.Continue Reading

Aboriginal Artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye

One of Australia’s most interesting painters was an old Aboriginal woman that didn’t start painting until she was about 70 and wouldn’t know a Rembrandt from a Rothko, but she painted like an angel. Emily Kame Kngwarreye (1910-1996) only painted for a short time but was very prolific, pumping out around 3000 paintings in eight short years.

The genius of the old woman from the remote desert community of Utopia, in the Northern Territory of Australia is starting to be acknowledged at auction with her 1995 work “Earth’s Creation” selling for more than a million dollars in 2007.Continue Reading

Aboriginal Bark Paintings

Of all the exhibitions I went to in Sydney over the past week, it was “They are Meditating” that inspired me the most. It’s an exhibition of Aboriginal bark paintings that were given to the Museum of Contemporary Art by the Arnott’s Biscuit company.

They’re more contemporary than any non-Aboriginal Australian art, but they also have thousands of years of tradition in them. You don’t walk away from them feeling hollow or cheated or confused as they’re real, they have meaning.

I wasn’t allowed to take photos of the paintings, but I bought the “They are Meditating” catalogue and scanned a few of my favorites.Continue Reading

Australian Aboriginal Art Auction

Australian Aboriginal art jumped in value this week with a Sotheby’s auction in Sydney that got bidders excited.

The painting to the left is called Warlugulong and is by the Aboriginal artist Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri. It sold at auction for $2.4 million, which is almost $2 million more than the artist’s previous record of $411,750.Continue Reading

NAIDOC Week in Australia

Google has celebrated NAIDOC Week with a doodle on the Google Australia homepage. NAIDOC stands for “National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee” and is a week long celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures in Australia.Continue Reading

Aboriginal Rock Art Saved?

The Western Australian government has seen the light and will no longer oppose the heritage listing of an area in the Dampier Archipelago, which will save some of the oldest art in the world on the Burrup Peninsula in Western Australia.

A proposed multi million dollar liquefied natural gas processing plant would have destroyed the thousands of aboriginal paintings and rock carvings throughout the region. The company that would have managed the plant (Woodside Petroleum) has now also dropped its opposition to the heritage listing, in return for a 6.8 square kilometer area to create a “gas precinct”.Continue Reading