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Lesson Plans

[artsednet] Re: Dreaming

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
J+G Grant (jggrant)
Tue, 7 Sep 1999 19:17:23 +1000

I'm an art teacher in Melbourne, Australia. With no disrespect to any
intended, I wish that people did not equate bark paintings and x-ray
depictions of animals as the only art form of the various aboriginal groups
of Australia. That form is true in only a small part of the country. We
have many famous artists of whom we are justly proud and perhaps you could
try to find some information about them - people such as Rover Thomas and
Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri to name only a couple. They paint in a
distinctly 'aboriginal' style but are totally individual. The strong bold
graphics of Rover Thomas are a particular favourite of mine. If you are
attempting to teach children about them , please do not generalise. It
would be a crying shame to blind children to the real power and beauty of
these artists. All the schools in my state, Victoria, (I don't know about
other states) have been issued with two wonderful CD Roms - one is 'Under a
Southern Sun - Stories from the Australian Landscape' which features some
indigenous artists and the other is called 'Moorditj - Australian Indigenous
Cultural Impressions'. They, especially Moorditj, give the viewer an
education in Australian (and indigenous) art. The indigenous peoples of
Australia are varied. To say that they all paint the same, in the same
formulaic fashion, is purely wrong. To find out more information regarding
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders a good site is
I hope I have not come across too dogmatic. It is something that I feel
strongly about. Children should be taught that these artists are deserving
of respect, not only because of their history, but also because of their

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