BUKU BOARDS

On view @ HAP SUMMER SPACE until August 31 2017
340 Walnut Avenue Ketchum Idaho

The art in this exhibition hails from a remote region of northeast Arnhem land. In Yirrkala, Yolngu artists traditionally work with natural materials that proliferate in their homeland including ocher and stringybark eucalyptus which forests and hugs rocky outcroppings where freshwater and saltwater converge.  The featured artists in this exhibition however have expanded their vision experimenting with new materials employing boards from the discarded stage of Australia's Indigenous Dance Theater group, Bangarra. These painted boards explicitly reflect the overarching vision of Bangarra which is "to respect and rekindle the links between traditional Indigenous cultures of Australia and explore new forms of contemporary artistic expression." This exhibition does exactly that - it illustrates the artistic synergy between two creative expressive forms of cultural identity. What makes these paintings unique is not just the sheer dimensional scale (which is a first for each of these artists), rather these boards now hold the energy of performance and bodily expression along with a visual narrative expressed through the application of ground pigment. Yolngu people for millennia express their culture though painting, song, dance and ceremony. One does not exist without the other. Perhaps this is what makes these works so authentically contemporary and these artists - who embrace change and participate in preserving culture - so vital in re-nourishing a conversation that has been diminished within contemporary art circles.