Friday, July 3, 2015


Crisp and cold, 3 deg. this morning,
followed by brilliant sunshine around noon.
A perfect Winter day in Brisbane...

I haven't shown you any art for a while, so let's catch up:

Kulata Tjuta (Many Spears), 2014
'Kulata Tjuta' (Many Spears), is a collaborative painting by six Australian indigenous painters, all Pitjantjatjara people:
Hector Tjupuru Barton, Willy Kaika, Mick Wikilyiri, Brenton Ken, and Ray Ken.
The painting arose out of a program of cultural assertion when Tjala law leaders from Amata instigated a 'Spears Project' to support their young men, in the belief that engaging them in traditional spear-making would provide a potent weapon against cultural loss.  
The work is painted in synthetic polymer paint on linen, with the addition of six spears of wood, kangaroo gut and fixative.
The Amata community is located in north-western South Australia, in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands.  Tjala Arts is the hub of artistic activity, where men and women paint abstract imagery adapted from traditional symbols and concepts.  It is a leader in the contemporary Western Desert painting movement.  

Bagu (Firestick figures) and Jiman (Firesticks) 2009
Fire was vital to daily life for Aboriginal people in the rainforests of Far North Queensland, an area of total contrast to the deserts.
  A large collective of Girringun Aboriginal artists have made contemporary versions of the traditional wooden bagu (firestick figures), using fired clay with ochre patterning, guava wood and string.
Jiman were carried from site to site as people moved camp seasonally, and the designated keeper was under great pressure to maintain the flame, especially in wet weather, almost a constant in the northern rainforests.
Fire provided a focal point for social interaction as well as its use for cooking, warmth, making weapons, preserving food and in ceremonies.
These works are quite distinctive, only coming from that one area of North Queensland.

The above two works are currently on display in the exhibition 'Terrain: Indigenous Australian Objects and Representations' at GoMA, Brisbane.

Yayoi Kusama, Japan,  'Flowers that Bloom at Midnight', 2009.
A giant flower cum insect, by Yayoi Kusama, greets visitors at the entrance to 'We Can Make Another Future: Japanese Art after 1989', also at GoMA.
The polka dot petals, shiny surfaces, and great staring eyes recall animated alien flora of science fiction and fantasy.
Now in her 86th year, the internationally famous Kusama continues to intrigue and fascinate audiences.  

Our eldest grandson, Little Aussie, has been visiting during the school holidays.
He requested to make another of our crazy cakes, and worked carefully to make a pond of blue sugar surrounded by green coconut grass.  The finishing touch was a gathering of sugar dinosaurs.

His fascination with Star Wars continues...
Who would have thought, back in the late 1970s, when Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, R2D2 and their friends were unleashed upon the world, that their popularity would continue for the next 40 years?
Aussie now has a collection of Star Wars bath toys!

And plays an interactive video game, featuring lego figures of the Star Wars cast, still  battling the same old evil Darth Vader and Co...

I want to thank you all for your kind and lovely comments on my last post.
They were very much appreciated, and I treasure these online friendships.

Have a wonderful weekend, wherever you are..



  1. Dear Patricia - I love the Kulata Tjuta painting, and could happily give it wall space in my home. I like the idea that it was a collaboration between indigenous Pitjantjatjara people - it must have given them all an enormous about of pleasure and satisfaction.
    You are helping to make lots of precious memories for Little Aussie, he will never forget his cake making times spent with his grandmother.

    1. It is a great painting, Rosemary, and I'd love to have it too! Collaborative painting is very popular among the Western Desert peoples, a very social experience.
      Making precious memories is a lovely way of putting it - I thought he had outgrown the cake thing, but obviously it has been a special time for the little guy. I must enjoy it while it lasts :)

  2. I too like the Kulata Tjuta painting though the colors are non- Scandinavian.
    When you blog, you always have fascinating pictures to show us It is like a sign of generosity, describing the woman you are : )!
    Over here, it is the Moomins that interest my g-daughter, just like they were when my younger daughter grew up.
    So it is winter. Hmm, and we are in the midst of our warmest summer days.
    Just wondering, I get sleepy in the afternoon, due to the warmth. What about you?
    I´m not complaining, no, no. In fact, enjoying the " siesta ".
    A wonderful weekend to you too!

    1. Glad you enjoyed the painting, Mette. The colours come from the desert sands and ochres, even when they switch to modern paints.
      Had to Google the Moomins, which look very sweet creatures, just perfect for the little girl to love.
      Sometimes I get sleepy in the afternoon - on hot summer days, or whenever I relax after lunch! Am quite fond of a quick nap, as it happens. Long live the siesta!

  3. Patricia, what an unusual looking flower in the first picture, very pretty. The firesticks are interesting, and a great history behind them. The Japanese Art is cool, and I really like the colorful polka dot flower. How funny that little Aussie loves Star Wars and baking cakes. It's nice that you get to spend time with him during his school holidays.

    It is our 4th of July this weekend, and celebrating the red, white, and blue!

    love, ~Sheri

    1. Sheri, the first flower is a grevillia, a native Australian plant, which we have in the middle of our rose garden - a bit random!
      I love the polka dot flowers of Kusama - she has made lots of them over the years, and loves a polka dot (as do I)
      Aussie has gone home for the weekend but is coming back next week for more fun and games. Happy 4th of July! x

  4. That is a very interesting looking flower at the top, never seen anything like that before. All your photos are delightful. I'm glad you're having such a nice winter, it doesn't sound as if winter is savage in Brisbane.

    1. The top flower is a red grevillia, a native Australian shrub, Jenny. Glad you enjoyed the photos, and I do enjoy our nice winter - cold mornings but sunny days. It is the best time to grow traditional flowers. However, as we have no central heating, the temperature inside the house is much the same as outside, which can be challenging around dawn. We often wake up and turn on the electric blanket!

  5. Hi Tricia,

    Thanks always for sharing your passions. You feature such beautiful things. Oh, the colors in nature are so bright. Lovely art and a perfect little tea cup!


    1. Hi Debbie, It is fun to run around with my camera and shoot whatever is blooming in our garden. The winter sun encourages the flowers (which tend to die off in the hot summer). The little tea cup is quite tiny, really a dolls size, and was a sweet gift from a friend.

  6. You grow such beautiful flowers in winter. I like the shot of Little Aussie decorating his cake. The Aborigianl art is lovely too. My local library has currently got a photo exhibition of traditional northern NSW Aboriginal possum quilts. The quilt would be started off as a baby quilt, then grew with the owner. It had a fur side for warmth and a waterproof side for bad weather and sketches of the persons history and totem and tribe on it. Just inspiring. Why did't we respect our indigenous people more?

    1. We have to make the most of the 12 weeks of winter to grow a few traditional flowers, Val..
      I love those Aboriginal possum quilts and cloaks, but I never knew they started out as baby quilts. That is a perfect idea, and one I will remember. Our gallery has some paintings of William Barak which feature the possum cloaks, as well as some very old photos of them. I'm sure the exhibition at your library is very fascinating. Good question about the respect, and interesting to note how some ingenious and skilled aspects of the culture have been glossed over as 'inconvenient truths' over the years.

  7. Just beautiful Trish...loved it all. Great culinary skills by your young Grandson xx

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Michelle. Aussie's cake decorating is something he seems to enjoy, and of course we like watching him do it!
      Hope all is going well over at your place. xox

  8. So you are having a cold snap as well - we have had unseasonably cold nights here. I love the cake making exercise. Interesting that you have Pitjantjatjara art in your part of the world - they do here too, and when I pointed out it was not local, and asked about the local traditions I was not very popular!!! Ce la vie...:)

  9. Yes, cold snap here! The Western Desert artists really have a claim on the Indigenous Art scene, don't they? I have been thinking if I know any Aboriginal artists from your area, but so far nothing springs to mind :)

  10. While you are enjoying cool days, we are in the midst of a record breaking heatwave here in BC. 3 degrees sounds very inviting! The artwork is all very interesting, as is the explanation of the importance of keeping the fire going for the Aboriginal people of the rainforest. Enjoy your time with your grandson!

    1. So the heatwave has moved over there - thank Goodness! I enjoy the 3 deg mornings, and will be happy even if it goes down to -1 occasionally. Like once a year.
      I imagine the Native Americans of your region had similar issues with keeping the fire alive, going by the density of those lovely green forests you have in BC, Kristie. Planning more activities this week with the little guy :)

  11. Hi Patricia,
    This is a lovely post .. I am so pleased to see that the government finally are helping the indigenous tribes, and they themselves are reviving their art and culture.. something the British quelled for many many years. I remember the time I was in Fremantle.. that the Aboriginal man or woman found in the street after 10 was put in jail for the night. children were taken from their families and put into service on the stations.. They are a kind loving peaceful people.. Their art is wonderful.
    Little Aussie, is growing tall.. his cake looks just perfect.. cakes made by grandma are the best.
    My eldest son.. now 47 this august.. still watches Star wars, with his two sons. it is amazing.
    wishing you a happy Sunday Patricia.
    val xxxx

  12. Hi Val, glad you liked the post. It is true, the British Empire has a lot to answer for in this context. You are absolutely right about the treatment of Aboriginal people until comparatively recently, and the children being taken from parents, up until the 1970s. The National Apology in 2008 went some way towards healing. I love that your son also watches Star Wars with his boys - it really lasts through the generations. Have a nice week. xox

  13. I'm always delighted to find posts here about art. It is particularly interesting to see the Aboriginal art from the area, something that I would otherwise never know about.

    That looks like a pretty fancy cake, clever little guy with his decorations.