Piercing the Ground: Balgo Women's Image Making and Relationship to Country

Piercing the Ground: Balgo Women's Image Making and Relationship to Country

by Christine Watson
     
 

Sparked by a sense of wonderment at the intense aliveness and presence of contemporary Balgo artworks, this comprehensive account of Balgo women's art ranges from the public sand drawings which literally pierce the ground to vibrant canvas paintings presenting the actions of ancestral beings. It shows how women's public sand drawing relates to their roles as hunter

Overview

Sparked by a sense of wonderment at the intense aliveness and presence of contemporary Balgo artworks, this comprehensive account of Balgo women's art ranges from the public sand drawings which literally pierce the ground to vibrant canvas paintings presenting the actions of ancestral beings. It shows how women's public sand drawing relates to their roles as hunter-gatherers reading the traces of animals on the ground, and how women contribute through ceremony to the symbolic language of Balgo iconography. At the heart of the women's cosmology, the making of marks in the earth or on canvas replicates the action of the ancestors externalizing themselves on the surface of earth and rocks. This book makes an important contribution to the work of anthropologists such as Phyllis Kaberry, Nancy Munn, Catherine Berndt, Diane Bell, Deborah Bird Rose, and Marcia Langton on the extent and significance of Aboriginal women's ceremony and relationship to the land in the region. Liberally illustrated, it is a valuable text that delves into the spiritual and concrete relationship to land that is embodied in Aboriginal art. Balgo is recognized as one of the most dynamic centers of contemporary Aboriginal art and its paintings offer a rich entry point into the traditions of desert Aboriginal knowledge of country.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781920731304
Publisher:
Fremantle Press
Publication date:
08/01/2003
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Christine Watson worked for the former Department of Aboriginal Affairs under the Whitlam government and as an art administrator and curator of Aboriginal Art for Boomalli Aboriginal Artists’ Cooperative and Coo-ee Aboriginal Art.

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