13 – 21 May 2017
Open: Sat & Sun: 10am – 4pm Mon/ Tues: closed Wed, Thurs, Fri: 10am – 4pm
Utopia artists are renowned for their superb use of colour. Sometimes the colour palette is delicate and subtle; at other times bold and strong.
Canvases often shimmer with fine dots and line-work, creating superb movement and dimension.
Ceremonial designs, bush foods and traditional medicine, seasonal changes to plants and country are all represented in the complex elements that underlie the best of Utopia paintings.
One of the many artists showcased in the exhibition is Polly Kngale. She is custodian of the traditional fruit Anwekety, a sweet black berry, often referred to in english as “Bush Plum” due to it’s likeness in appearance to a plum. Polly applies layer upon layer of colour that creates an atmospheric surface of movement and depth.
Also on show are works by Abie Loy Kemarre, who developed her fine skills as an artist working closely with her famous grandmother Kathleen Petyarre. Abie skillfully applies delicate line and dot work to create canvases with tremendous movement and dimension.
About Utopia & The Artists
Named by German settlers in the early 1920’s, Utopia is a region covering approximately 5,000 sq km of land north east of Alice Springs and is home to around 2,000 Aboriginal people.
This region is loosely termed Utopia whereby much of the land (not all) lies on Aboriginal owned land called Urapuntja. Utopia comprises of several large communities and several small communities.
Art is by far the largest source of employment in an area sadly lacking employment opportunities and employment skills. You’ll never find people more skilled at art. Though most of them have never attended art classes or western schooling for art, the subject of their paintings are 99% in relation to their culture; a dreamtime story that is enhanced by a full spectrum of colours and artistic designs, or body paint designs that could be the world’s oldest living art form.
It was in the late 1980’s that Aboriginal people of Utopia started to put acrylic paint on canvas. This followed a very successful decade of working with batik, several years after the Papunya art movement began which put Utopia on the map, so to speak. The women tried their hand at batik, which they fell in love with (Lindsay Bird was the only male artist to participate). When painting eventually reached the people of Utopia, with its quick drying and no mess properties batik was a thing of the past.
Generally Utopia artists were initially quite formal in their painting techniques. Most work was done with the use of fairly large dot or linear work. It didn’t take long before many artists became bolder in style, colour and flair. This is what the art of Utopia is renowned for to this day.
“Utopia” is presented as part of Hunters Hill Art Exhibition, founded in 1955. Hunters Hill becomes Sydney’s art village for the month of May. The exhibition brings together a diverse array of artists and styles. Be sure to visit and soak up the atmosphere.
For more details visit: www.honeyantgallery.com or call 0447 538 077 (Lisa)