The Wanarn Painters of Place and Time: Old Age Travels in the Tjukurrpa
David Brooks and Darren Jorgensen
This exquisite art book contains the precious story and transformative work of celebrated artists now living in an aged care facility in Ngaanyatjarra country, a remote and isolated community that is the centre of their abundant world amongst ancient Dreamings. Understanding of these paintings remains obscure because they are made by people experiencing the end of their lives, detached from the anxieties of everyday life, but the vibrancy of each image is startling.
David Brooks, an anthropologist, and Darren Jorgensen, an art historian, have both worked for many years with these people from the Ngaanyatjarra lands. They offer this artwork as a record of the remarkable power of imaginative belonging and knowing: resembling extraterrestrial photographs, these bright galactic shapes rise from darkness, allude to cosmological truths, full of mystery. The mystery of these paintings lies in the fact that they can grip us with only the slightest of marks on the canvas, with only a gesture to the infinite knowledge they represent.
This is the first of its kind in Australian Aboriginal art books: a collection dedicated to end of life vision and imagination.