2020 Semester 2

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5 replies
  1. Andrea-P
    Andrea-P says:

    I really enjoyed learning about the cross-thatching techniques commonly used by Bininj artists that tell stories such as that told by Don Namundja about the python that catches and eats the kunj. I was sad to read about the effects of the Intervention on Mawurndjul described by Altman but also relieved that the story could be told. I was not in Northern Territory during the Intervention but the effects are very present and palpable.
    My understanding about the art of West Arnhem is that it is actually about the story. The art represented here tells stories about food sources and even the anatomy of animals. I have mixed feelings about how this gets portrayed on paper. The art provides a valuable opportunity for bininj to earn a living from their art and spend time on an activity that has positive effects on the mind; however I also love that the art on rocks in the stone country is so old and provides direction, warning and information about what food is available to eat nearby. I get a profound sense of connection when bininj explain the art and the story it contains that I don’t find the same when staring at a painting. However, this is just my personal feeling and hopefully is okay to share here!

  2. Emily-B
    Emily-B says:

    I thought it was interesting hearing that the cutting of the animal before the cross hatching also resemble the meat and who would receive and eat that parts of the meat within the kinship system. kinship plays such an important roll into every aspect other culture.
    I also agree with Andrea, they are telling stories, stories that will last forever that will pass down to all generations, told how it’s always been told. Each story has meaning.
    I also have seen some very interesting painting around Arnhem Land that have like in the first article described as painting the ideal type/version of animal, for example I have seen man painted with a fish tail.

  3. Zenobia-J
    Zenobia-J says:

    I loved this weeks unit on art! I was absolutely mesmerised listening to the interview with John Marwurndjul sharing his stories and showing his art. I have learnt so much just from that interview and many of the ideas, concepts, skin and kin terms and lots of words we have learnt in this course came to live for me in this interview. Hearing from an artist, explaining his trade and seeing this in an Arnhem Land context really moved me. The stories embedded in each art piece is so wonderful and hearing it explained makes it very special. I am going to get all my friends and family to watch this video to ensure that they all have a much better appreciation and respect for the artistry and story telling of Bininj.
    I collaborate with Bininj on rockart and reading through Dan Kennedy’s piece and learning about the various terms they use in art was really helpful. I will be to use that information a lot in the future. I also enjoyed reading the Altman piece and the interview with Murray Garde – both pieces gave unique insights into life and language in Arnhem Land. All of this together with the weekly units in this course have clarified so much for me over time, but I do appreciate that this is just scratching the surface. I am excited to keep learning!

  4. Kellie-D
    Kellie-D says:

    Reflecting on the article by Jon Altman, I always find it fascinating that for majority of successful indigenous people, there always seems to be a very significant people for them as they navigate what ballanders see as ‘success’ while trying to stay integrated within their families and cultural practices.
    I loved the interview with John Marwurndjul. Additionally, I love hearing the reasons behind the dreamtime stories, the following in particular.
    The Antilopine Kangaroo and the Dingo were once two Yirridjdja moiety men who decided to paint each other. … Once the Kangaroo had painted the Dingo, the Dingo jumped up and looked at his body. He didn’t like what he saw. He said, “You’ve painted my body wrong and my mouth is too big!”… So he told the Kangaroo, “From now on, you will be my meat”.

    It was interesting reading the art code. Living in Gunbalanya, I always found it ethically challenging when Bininj Daluks would come to your house on a club night selling their beautiful earrings for cheaper than the local art shop. They would say it was so they could drink beers at the club. It was challenging to say no however reflection on the art code it makes sense as to why we should by from the accredited shops.

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