Wednesday, June 23, 2021

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Tags Amata

Tag: Amata

For the leaves of the family tree

If you want an injection of joy and optimism, if you want to see leadership in action, then go see Punu-ngura (From the Trees) at RAFT Artspace.

This is the second exhibition curated by artist Hector Tjupuru Burton to show at RAFT within 12 months. Both have had as their focus the future of the young people growing up in Amata in the APY Lands where the senior Pitjantjatjara man lives. The young people are the leaves of the Anangu family tree and each one is touchingly named in the show's catalogue.

Frank Young, director of Tjala Arts, chairperson of the Amata community council and an artist himself, explains the Anangu concept of the family tree: "The Ancestors are the roots ... us middle ones – the men and women who made these paintings – we are the trunk of the tree. The young fellas and young women, the future of our families are the leaves on the trees, and the leaves that are yet to be seen."

These canvasses come from accomplished artists, some celebrated, some less well known. The power of their cultural conviction, respect for their Law and connection with family, can be felt in the profuse imagery and effervescent energy of the collaborations, in the brilliantly organised compositions rich in colour, in each spirited stroke of the brush or dotted field.

"With this exhibition we draw a line. We pull back and put a fence around our culture," says Mr Young.

It's a manifesto of the highest order.  It also is something of a breakthrough in work by weavers. – KIERAN FINNANE 

 

Pictured: Untitled painting by Barney Wangin.

 

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