Author(s): MORPHY HOWARD
Aboriginal art has survived the colonial period to become a major feature of contemporary Australian society. This book surveys the great variety in Aboriginal art, from ancient rock paintings to powerful modern works in acrylic on canvas. The patterns and symbols of Aboriginal art, though they may at first appear abstract, are laden with meaning. Morphy explains the social contexts in which art is made and its religious significance. The book uses a contextual approach to show the interrelationships between such diverse art forms as body painting, dance, the decoration of weapons and utensils, and painting on bark, board and canvas. The text is illustrated with outstanding examples, many published here for the first time. Today, Aboriginal art is seen as an expression of Aboriginal history, culture and identity. This text explains why its international audience is growing.
Howard Morphy is Director of the Centre for Cross-Cultural Research at the Australian National University, Canberra.
Art as a record of Aboriginal history; art, religion and the dreaming; a totemic landscape - art, maps and people; Aboriginal art and society; art, ritual and aesthetics; engaging the other - art and the survival of Aboriginal society; in place out of time - from Hermannsburg to Papunya; art in adversity; documents of change; Aboriginal art and the avant-garde.