Seeing the Inside: Bark Painting in Western Arnhem Land

Paperback | April 30, 1999

byLuke Taylor

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Seeing the Inside is the first detailed study of one of the world's great visual art traditions and its role in the society that produces it. The bark painting of Aboriginal artists in western Arnhem Land is the product of a unique tradition of many thousands of years' duration. In recentyears it has attracted enormous interest in the rest of Australia and beyond, with the result that the artists, who live primarily as hunters in this relatively secluded region of northern Australia, now paint for sale to the world art market. Though the richness and power of Aboriginal arts are now, belatedly, finding wide recognition, they remain insufficiently understood. In this thoroughly illustrated book Luke Taylor examines the creative methods of the bark painters and the cultural meaning of their work. He discusses, on the onehand, the arrangements which allow the artists to project their culture on to an international stage, and on the other, the continuing social and religious roles of their paintings within their own society. The result is a remarkable and fascinating picture of artistic creativity in a changingworld.

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Seeing the Inside is the first detailed study of one of the world's great visual art traditions and its role in the society that produces it. The bark painting of Aboriginal artists in western Arnhem Land is the product of a unique tradition of many thousands of years' duration. In recentyears it has attracted enormous interest in th...

Luke Taylor is a Senior Curator at the National Museum of Australia. He has worked for the Australian Federal Government's Review of the Aboriginal Artsa and Crafts Industry, and held a Visiting Research Fellowship at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. In 1995/6 he was a visiting scholar at the ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:298 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.71 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019823354X

ISBN - 13:9780198233541

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. The development of the market for bark paintings in western Arnhem Land3. Kunwinjku social organization and land ownership4. Apprenticeship and the social identity of artists5. Themes and paintings in ceremonies6. Formal components of bark paintings7. Iconic representation8. Transforming figures9. The meaning of x-ray paintings10. Metaphors and socializationConclusion: Innovation and social reproductionAppendix: Glossary of Kunwinjku words

Editorial Reviews

`Taylor's detailed account of Western Arnhem Land art adds significantly to the work begun by Morphy and Munn concerning one of the most important art-producing regions of the world. ... detailed and well-written study ... interesting analysis of how art is tied to the social fabric ofKunwinjku life.'Russell Sharman, Journal fo the Anthropological Society of Oxford