After having been to a few guided tours of Aboriginal art in several museums, I was keen on discovering more, because I could sense that it was something completely different to explore, fascinating both in the meaning and the technique. That’s why, on May 28th, I rushed up to the exhibition From the sand to the sails, at the Kate Owen Gallery, in Sydney.
A huge amount of paintings from many indigenous artists were shown on different floors in this beautiful gallery, the majority of artworks being from Gabriella Possum and her family members, among them her famous father, Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri.
But let’s focus on Gabriella’s work. What I found really interesting and inspiring were the techniques used in her paintings. Her artworks were on big canvasses, painted in a really precise way, with little elements. Mostly dots (of course would you say, if, like me, this is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear Australian indigenous art – even if there is so much more…), but in such a quantity that they formed rich abstract landscapes, dancing before my eyes. Several paintings from Gabriella Possum showed the Dreaming of the Seven Sisters, all of them slightly different from each other, the background being sometimes very complex, sprinkled with blue and white on a black canvas, creating beautiful night skies, full of life.
I really liked the tension between precision and free gesture on a few paintings, but especially the brightness and life of the final result. Gabriella Possum’s artworks are so complex that you could scrutinise them during hours, but – and this is central to me – they are also extremely beautiful at first sight.0