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Half a Hundred Years: Australian Aboriginal Paintings from Yuendumu in August and September

Jeffrey Moose Gallery

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EXHIBITION: August & September, 2023.

Jeffrey Moose Gallery is proud to announce our annual exhibition of paintings by indigenous artists from Yuendumu in Australia’s Central Desert. Receptions will be held on First Friday, August 4th and First Friday, September 1st from 6 to 8 PM. Jeffrey Moose will deliver a short talk at both events. A Facebook livestream will run from 5:20-5:40 on both dates for those unable to attend.

Every August, The Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair draws thousands from around the world. Last year’s fair was the first since Australia re-opened and features more than 1500 artists represented by 76 art centers throughout the country. Few communities are more important to the genre: Papunya, Yuendumu and Utopia led the way. 2021 was the 50th Anniversary of the first Dot Paintings. Traditional ground paintings by the Yuendumu artists, known as Warlukurlangu (Home of the Fire Dreaming) made history in Paris in 1989, part of the international survey, "Magiciennes De La Terre." At this sensational exhibit of Indigenous art from around the world, a group of men from Yuendumu packed tons of desert earth and crushed flowers from home, shaping the material into an enormous "Ground Painting" to honor the Yarla Jukurrpa, a creation story about the bush potato.

Several works by Warlukurlangu Artists are on display in The Seattle Art Museum’s third floor galleries. It was through the Kaplan/Levy Collection shown at SAM that Jeffrey Moose was connected to this remote desert art co-op. In 2006, Jeffrey and his father and son visited Yuendumu, establishing a longstanding and fruitful relationship.

Dot paintings are images rendered from an aerial perspective that use symbols to represent people, animals, plants, weather systems and other forms to tell ancient creation stories. In their original form, these stories are part of the Song Lines, complex sets of story-poems recited in rhythmic patterns that link sacred places across the Australian continent.

“July 30 marks the 15th anniversary of a court case that gave sea-rights to the Yolngu people of Australia’s far Northwest. The win guaranteed Aboriginal people ownership of around 80% of Northern Territory’s coastline, a ruling that included precedence over any commercial interests or fishing. And a series of bark paintings was at the centre of the ruling.” - SBS News, Australia, 7/30/2023. The ruling is quite similar to the Boldt Decision in Washington Sate (1974), guaranteeing native people 50% of the fish harvest in the state.

Jeffrey Moose Gallery

181 Winslow Way East suite f, Bainbridge Island, Washington 98110, USA

Tuesday – Friday 10-5:30
Saturday 11-6
Also open by appointment.


ABOUT THE GALLERY: In twenty five years Jeffrey Moose Gallery has shown an enormous variety of work by artists local, national and international, with a wide range of styles and media. From the original location in downtown Seattle’s Rainier Square, where I operated for 23 years on the second level of the Atrium, the gallery moved in the summer of 2017 to the town of Winslow on Bainbridge Island.

The gallery has shown work ranging from scientific illustrations to Pop/Op to pastel landscapes to Native American and Australian Aboriginal art. Nature is a common thread and it continues to inspire and direct.

In recent years, music and musicians have been regular themes at the gallery. I am honored to represent Rock and Roll photographer Steve Schneider, whose photos go back to the early 70’s and also include stunning images of the Grunge era. The gallery partnered with the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA) for the last two Octobers to celebrate Jazz, in conjunction with Within/Earshot Jazz concerts.

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