New FORM exhibition Painting Power explores ritual, art and land in a series of potent artworks by Aboriginal artists living in remote Australia. The show, which opens on Friday, 5 May at FORM’s Goods Shed in Claremont, encompasses works from art centres across Australia, including Munupi Arts, Warlukurlangu Artists, Ikuntji Artists, Mimili Maku Arts and Tjala Arts.

Painting Power curator Sharmila Wood said the exhibition considered the significance of art to Aboriginal life and connection between the physical and spiritual realms.  “These vivid canvases evoke rain making rituals, ancestral narratives, the connection to stars and moon and the manifestation of traditional land management practices,” Ms Wood said.  “Historically, art had a role in Aboriginal life. Today this continues with a substantial body of art in the exhibition expressing risk-taking, experimentation and the power of contemporary Aboriginal art to fuse different worlds.”

Painting Power draws together works which reflect concepts of ritual in Aboriginal painting both as a means of expressing, song, dance and ceremony, as well as creating meaning and making sense of the world. Ms Wood said significant artistic designs were often an enactment of the dynamism and energy of ritual and religious life. ”Art in Aboriginal life can be a means of connecting with heritage, community and ancestors whilst simultaneously expressing the tangible, physical relationships between people and land,” she said.

Munupi Arts And Crafts Art Centre Manager Guy Allain said the art of the Tiwi people had a unique aesthetic which drew on ancient ceremonial traditions  “These ceremonies with their highly elaborate dances underpin the development of contemporary Tiwi art,” Mr Allain said.  “An emotional and exuberant celebration of applied natural colours evokes the world- view of the Tiwi people as well as their ancient traditions and mythologies.  Limited by the natural pigments of yellow, red, white and black Tiwi artists create a surprising diversity of highly dynamic visual elaborations as they skilfully merge contemporary personal ideas with ancient meaningful symbology.”

Painting Power will be opened by the Hon. David Alan Templeman MLA, Minister for Local Government; Heritage; Culture and the Arts and Stephen Goode, Chief Executive Officer at the Town of Claremont from 6-8pm. The exhibition will open on Friday, 5 May at The Goods Shed, Corner of Shenton Road and Claremont Crescent, Claremont and will run until the 23rd of June.

Exhibition runs until late June.

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