• Short Summary

    THE MYTHOLOGY OF "DREAMTINE" IS STARKLY RECORDED ON THE NARSH OCHRES OF ARNHEM LAND BY THE ARTISTS OF YIRKALLA, IN AUSTRALIA'S FAR NORTH.

  • Description

    THE MYTHOLOGY OF "DREAMTINE" IS STARKLY RECORDED ON THE NARSH OCHRES OF ARNHEM LAND BY THE ARTISTS OF YIRKALLA, IN AUSTRALIA'S FAR NORTH. HISTORY, TOO IS RECORDED ON THE BARK OF THE STRINGY GUN, A CANVAS THAT IS READILY AVAILABLE TO THE ARTIST IN THE AREA AROUND MELVILLE BAY. HE COLLECTS IT HIMSELF. THE TOMAHAWK HE CARRIES IS A LEGACY OF THE TRADERS FROM MALAYA, JAPAN AND INDONESIA. THEY FIRST BROUGHT THE METAL THAT IS AN ESSENTIAL TOOL IN THE ARTIST'S WORK, 2 HUNDRED YEARS AGO.

    NARRAJIN IS JUST ONE OF ABOUT ONE HUNDRED ARTISTS WHO HAVE GAINED FOR HIS PRIMITIVE ART-FORM, RECOGNITION ROUND THE WORLD. THE RAW BARK MUST BE CURED. PEELED FROM THE TRUNK, IT IS LEFT EXPOSED TO THE SUN FOR UP TO A WEEK. IN THE FINAL PHASES OF THE CURING, THE BARK IS EXPOSED TO FIRE. IT IS A LEISURELY PROCESS AND THE MEN DO NOT TRY TO HURRY IT. THERE'S A STEADY DEMAND FOR THE PAINTINGS, BUT THEY CHOOSE TO WORK AT THEIR OWN PACE. THE CURED BARK IS SCRAPED AND TREATED WITH BUSH ORCHID. THEN THE "CANVAS" IS READY.

    THEY USUALLY WORK ALONG THE BEACH IN THE SHADE OF THE TAMARIN TREES...SIDE BY SIDE, GRANDFATHER AND GRANDSON WORK TO BLEND THE MINERAL ORCHEES THAT COLOUR THE PAINTINGS. ALL OF OLD MAWALUN'S FAMILY ARE ARTISTS.

    THE HAIR WILL BECOME A BRUSH. MAWALUN IS ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL ARTISTS - ONE OF HIS WORKS WAS RECENTLY PLACED IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM. HE TWINES THE HAIR ON A FISHBONE. THEY WORK PATIENTLY FOR HOURS, SOMETIMES FOR DAYS. THEN THEY MIGHT PAINT NOTHING FOR MONTHS. HOWEVER, THE PROMISE OF BETTER RETURNS HAS STABILISED THEIR OUTPUT TO SOME EXTENT. AFTER ALL, ITS GOOD BUSINESS TO KEEP PAINTING.

    A WORK LIKE THIS WILL BRING GOOD PRICE IN SYDNEY WHERE THE LOWEST PRICE FOR EVENNA MEDIUM SIZED BARK IS 25-POUNDS. AT YIRKALLA, THE ARTIST SELLS HIS PAINTINGS ON STORE DAY AT THE METHODIST MISSION. THE MISSION STAFF HANDLE THE SALE OF THE WORK FROM HERE. THE SELLER IS ASSURED OF AN IMMEDIATE CASH RETURN FOR HIS WORK. THESE ARTISTS KNOW AND TRUST THE MEN THEY ARE DEALING WITH. THE REVEREND EDGAR WELLS, LEFT, AND DOUG TUFFIN, HAVE BEEN AT YIRKALLA FOR MANY YEARS. THEY WORK IN AN AREA WHICH AS LATE AS 1930, WAS REGARDED AS UNCONTROLLABLE.

    THE CHANGE IN 30 YEARS IS REMARKABLE. THE ABORIGINAL ARTIST HAS A SECURE INCOME. THIS MISSION IN ARNHEM LAND HAS BROUGHT A HOSPITAL, SCHOOL AND PROVIDED ELECTRIC POWER. THE WEEKLY STORE DAY HIGHLIGHTS THE RAPID PROGRESS. YOUNGSTERS CAN ENJOY THEIR LEMONADE WHILE PARENTS TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS. THIS IS THE TYPICAL MISSION STATION SCENE, THE SAME SCENE AS ON MANY NORTHERN MISSIONS; BUT IT HAS AN ATMOSPHERE OF ITS OWN. THE PEOPLE CAN TAKE PRIDE IN THEIR OWN CONTRIBUTION TO THE ART WORLD - THE ART OF THE BARK PAINTER. FOR THE WORK OF MEN LIKE MARVALUN, THERE'S A WAITING LIST OF THREE MONTHS.

    THIS IS THE ORIGINAL HOME OF THE DRONE-PIPE - THE DIDGERIDOO.

    THE MONEY FROM THE SALE OF PAINTINGS CAN BE TURNED TO IMMEDIATE USE. THE MARKET OFFERS A WIDE RANGE OF GOODS, AND THE PRICES ARE REASONABLE. THE SECURITY OF GOODS AND PRICES - TYPICAL OF A SUPERMARKET SCHEME ANYWHERE...

    IN THE COURSE OF A USUAL STORE DAY, ABOUT ONE THOUSAND POUNDS CHANGE HANDS. SOME OF THE ARTISTS ARE CONSIDERED QUITE WEALTHY, WITH BANK ACCOUNTS HOLDING HUNDREDS OF 1/2 POUNDS. THE TELLER IN THE MISSION AGENCY IS A SCHOOL TEACHER, RON CROXFORD. THEY'VE LEARNED TO SAVE. THE INCOME FROM BARK PAINTINGS CAN BUY MANY THINGS A FAMILY DREAMS OF - EVEN PERHAPS A FISHING BOAT.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAEQQQ99KZDNJNUCOWCF06O0VT1
    Media URN:
    VLVAEQQQ99KZDNJNUCOWCF06O0VT1
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    17/06/1963
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:07:06:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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