Week 5, Blog 3

Give a short description of one of the Australian paintings currently hanging in the Art Gallery of NSW and explore the ways in which it illuminates at least one literary theme and/or method explored in Australian Literature studied this semester.

Unknown-2

One of artworks that stood out to me at the NSW Art Gallery this week was Russell Drysdale’s 1953 work “A group of Aborigines” as I believe it has an underlying message regarding on how modern day Australia was established as well as highlighting the issue of segregation of cultures; which we have explored during the course of Australian Literature. The artwork consists of a group of 6 Indigenous Australians standing together as a group dressed in workmen like clothes and bare feet; painted in natural earth tones of colour. The clothing is symbolic as it is representing that the indigenous were slowly being forced into Australian society but due to the lack of shoes it indicates that they are still able to hold onto their culture. This lack of shoes is also shown in That Deadman Dance with Bobby, which I believe is symbolic of the indigenous still being connected to their culture as in the Dreaming the earth is always portrayed as a mother figure to the Indigenous.

The colour choices of this work does show also that Drysdale was trying to incorporate both his own culture with the indigenous in a way that almost conveys the wider Australian society being united under one identity. This idea of a single united culture of Australia was also portrayed very early on in That Deadman Dance by Bobby but it wasn’t as strong portrayed as in “A group of Aborigines” but Bobby does hint at a similar idea more of a brotherhood between cultures. This can be seen in the relationship between Bobby and Doctor Cross.

Drysdale’s other works such as “Station boys” 1953 and “Shopping Day” 1953 both do explore similar ideas but I personally believe that the work “Group of Aborigines” holds a stronger message in regarding the relationship between cultures and how there is an underlying prejudice towards both cultures. The artist is able to convey the issue very well even though it is addressed subtly.

 

Picture of the work can be seen at http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/44.2003/

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Week 5, Blog 3

  1. Great Blog! I found your blog very detailed and informative. It was great how you emphasised the importance of symbolism and culture that is highlighted through the work of Russell Drysdale. Hence, I found that you have a broadened understanding towards the artwork “A group of Aboriginals” (1953) that has been illustrated by Russell Drysdale, also its evident that you have supported your analysis by signifying the importance of his other works “Station boys” (1953) and “Shopping Day” (1953). Overall, excellent blog and I’m looking forward to reading more of your blogs.

    Like

    1. Thank you Dinah for your advice! As my description is broad on the artworks, do you think i should go into a bit more detail on Drysdale’s work “A group of Aborigines” 1953 or keep it as is?

      Like

  2. Hi Riley,
    I found your post on this painting to be a good choice in relation to Australian literature and your description of the painting does well to tell the reader what it actually depicts. However I think it would have been nicer if you had included a picture of the painting in your blog, rather than a link, as then you can look between your text about the painting and the painting itself with ease. I like how you have managed to connect this painting with Bobby from “That Deadman Dance” and find your interpretation of the Aboriginals not wearing shoes to be very interesting. My first instinct was that they were not only made to conform to a society that they had no interest in, but were also left to be very poor and without “basic” items such as shoes. I like your idea better, that the Aboriginals having no shoes on allows a connection back to their heritage. I agree with you that this painting shows a good depiction of the cultural views of Aboriginals at the time.
    You have written this blog well but maybe just do a read over of it again as there are just a few words that are missing or misused. No big deal, but it would help with the flow of your text. Great job.
    Cheers 🙂

    Like

    1. Thanks Morgan for your advice, I’ll make sure to do a grammar check on my post! The reason why I didn’t put the picture up was because I got a warning post from the Gallery of NSW a few days ago but I’ll see if it will allow me to put it up. Thank you for your comments 🙂

      Like

  3. Hi Riley, this is beautifully presented and has some great ideas in it. Good work.
    However:
    *Please attend to editing your work carefully. Here is what I have picked up (there is more):
    * I believe it has an underlying message regarding on how modern day Australia was established = I believe it has an underlying message on how modern day Australia was established
    * segregation of cultures; which we have explored= segregation of cultures which we have explored [; is not appropriate here- it is usually a replacement for a full-stop when two sentences are closely linked in meaning. So it is a bit like putting a brick in the middle of a sentence and shouldn’t replace the more mild comma!
    for further details on Semi-colons see
    http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/607/04/%5D
    * in workmen like clothes= in workmen-like clothes [For correct use of hyphens see http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/576/01/
    * and bare feet; painted in natural earth tones = and bare feet painted in natural earth tones [see comment above about ;]
    * which I believe is symbolic of the indigenous still being connected to their culture as in the Dreaming the earth is always = which I believe is symbolic of the indigenous still being connected to their culture. In the Dreaming the earth is always…

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s