from the State Art Collection
31 January - 31 May 2009
Baru Ga Yathikpa – Crocodile dreaming
ochres on stringy bark (eucalyptus)
159 x 63cm
State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia
Everywhen explores the richness and beauty of bark paintings from the Yirrkala region of North East Arnhem Land. This exhibition will survey selected works from the State Art Collection, including many that were acquired by collector Louis Allen between the late 1950s and 1970s.
It is difficult to define Indigenous relationships to the land, systems of belief, law and tradition ceremony in a way that easily transfers into the English language or a Western understanding. In 1968, anthropologist and theorist W.E.H. Stanner described what is commonly known as the 'Dreaming' using the term 'everywhen'. 'Everywhen' describes something that is somewhat timeless, not fixed in the past but part of the present and the future, all at the same time.
Works in this exhibition illustrate contemporary issues, clan titles to land and identity, Creation Beings and the formation of the physical and the metaphysical. As the term 'everywhen' describes a state of always, these works are timeless contemporary pieces of art in their own right, imbued with immense cultural wealth and aesthetic value as fine art.