Highlights -- 5 Years of Art Mob
It is almost five years since the opening of Art Mob, Tasmania’s only specialist Aboriginal gallery, and to celebrate, the gallery is holding a very special ‘retrospective’, an overview of selected major works from most exhibitions held. The more than sixty Art Mob exhibitions that have been held cover virtually every aspect of contemporary Aboriginal culture, from Bardi dance totems to local prison art.
Art Mob has a very large ‘stable’ of important local and interstate indigenous artists and Highlights features many of the gallery’s particular favourites, who have also proved popular with clients and visitors. The four signature works for the show are archetypal examples of contemporary indigenous art; ‘Untitled’ (2004), by Bill Harney, with its earthy colours, native animals and grasshopper totems; Ruby Williamson’s ‘Utukunpa Honey Grevillea’ (2005) with its vibrant tones and striking, linear aerial depiction of country and shallow rock pools and Don Tjungerai’s ‘Men’s Ceremony’ (2003), with its dots and curved lines creating intricate patterning. A much-loved three-dimensional work is John Martin Tipungwuti’s monumental sculpture ‘Pelican Pole’ (2006). This is one of the most important works to come out of the Tiwi Islands in recent years.
There are some sixty works in Highlights, all of them featured on the Art Mob website www.artmob.com.au Aboriginal art is complex and diverse and, of course, imbued with spirituality and love of country. Traditional tales and legends are told in almost all the works. Paintings can range from serenely beautiful to challenging and confronting. Where some artists continue to work in the typical ‘dot’ manner, and in ochre colours, others have embraced even discovering or ‘inventing’ for themselves modernist and contemporary styles.
Many of the best Aboriginal painters are women, some of them very senior. Notable are Sally Gabori, Eubena Nampitjin, Mitjili Napurrulla, the Pwerle sisters, Evelyn Pultara and Gloria Petyarre. But there are also many younger artists coming through, such as Anjolu Heather Umbagai and Marilyn Davies, represented in this show. Of course, there are many great male artists, too including Jack Dale, Sam Juparulla Wickman, Pegleg Tjampitjinpa, Ronnie Tjampitjinpa and Kudditji Kngwarreye. Our local Tasmanian artists include Allan Mansell, Ros Langford and Timothy West.
Enjoy this unique opportunity to view and acquire some of the very best Art Mob has to offer … Diana Klaosen 2007