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Aboriginal art at Kakadu

Wear walking shoes to appreciate Kakadu's art galleries

sunny 30 °C

Lightning Man in rock art at Nourlangie. Can you see Lightning Man painted on the rock?

Lightning Man in rock art at Nourlangie. Can you see Lightning Man painted on the rock?

In our two days at Kakadu, we've visited rock art sites at Ubirr and Nourlangie. They provide a fascinating window into the changing culture and environment of the Aboriginal people in Kakadu and the extremes of their six seasons. The rock shelter locations for the paintings are no accident. When you bushwalk to visit rock art sites on a 30-degree day, it's clear why the art is in rock shelters where it's nice and cool. And in the wet season, nice and dry.

Many paintings show animals and people painted in different styles, some unique to the region. They are quite beautiful in their ochre colours. The X-ray style shows the skeletons and internal organs of animals detailed with cross-hatching and other patterns. Some paintings show figures from stories passed down the generations, such as Lightning Man (see photo above). There is some overlapping of pictures as new ones are painted over old. Some are thousands of years old, some hundreds of years old or newer.

Aboriginal art is quite diverse we've found. We caught an exhibition at the Araluen Arts Centre in Alice Springs which featured some of Albert Namatjira's lovely watercolours, 1970s dot paintings from Papunya Tula plus more recent contemporary work in bright acrylics, woven fibres and prints. At a Darwin gallery, we bought some art to take home - lovely silkscreen printed fabric from Maningrida in Arnhem Land. We'll show you when we're back!

PS: We finally camped out. We bought camping gear in Adelaide and can at last say we've used it. We camped at Mardugal Campground with millions of mozzies humming us off to sleep. Scores of squawking corellas were our morning alarm clock.

Posted by kecasumi 20:08 Archived in Australia Tagged art aboriginal

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