Dear Cleo 18 10 24

Dearest Cleo

There is no need for me to hope you are well, I know you are at Granny C’s and are being spoiled rotten, give your brother a kiss from me, and I will catch up with the two of you at the weekend. For me today was a special day, I got to paint as well as of all the reading and research and writing.

I spent some time looking at Australian cave and rock art, what I did find was a remarkable similarity to European cave painting and some “aliens” that reminded me of figures in Egyptian art. What I didn’t find was anything remotely resembling the illustration in the course workbook. It was obviously far too colourful to be cave art and is in fact an example of Aborigine dot painting.

Figure 1 Aborigine dot painting

The cave paintings are the last recorded aboriginal art, aboriginal art evolved into a style of Performance art involving shaman and drawings in the sand and on human bodies, an art that had little permanence.

The dot paintings evolved in the mid twentieth century when the aborigines were introduced the western pigments by missionaries and encouraged to reproduce the sand drawings of the shaman as art on canvas. It is a similar story to that of Dame Kiri Te Kanawha and her tribe, in fact it is a story as old as art itself, the artistically minded individuals of a tribe or nation of are introduced to a new medium and a radical new art movement is born. Does the fact that the aborigines were one of the last magical tribes and the fact that they actively promote dreamtime increase the surreal aspect of their work? The whole of Pre-Modern art concerns itself with visions and dreams and spirituality.

Following the instructions in the course book, I stuck with the cave painting and produced this.

Figure 2 Self Portrait on a man cave wall in Edmonton early twenty first century. Mouth blown sepia ink on acrylic paper 40 x 40cm

See you at the weekend when you get back

My love as always

Mickos xx

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