return to fed square’s ngv

Melbourne has two impressive national galleries — one on St Kilda Road dedicated to overseas art and the Federation Square gallery that displays exclusively Australian art. Every time I return to Melbourne, I visit the downtown art gallery and head straight to the Aboriginal section where there’ll be something new on display.

Bark shelter by Bardayal Nadjamerrek and Dick Ngulayngalay Murrumurru

Spiritual ancestors with supernatural powers painted on bark by various artists from Western Australia caught my attention as soon as I stepped into the Aboriginal section. Close by was Nardayal Nadjamerrek and Dick Ngalayngalay Murrumurru’s Bark shelter of ancestral beings from their Kunwinjku background.

In the next room I thought as the protest room. A music video pumped out a protest rap. Paintings on the wall spoke of the destruction of Australia since European invasion or how Australia’s prime ministers had always kowtowed to U.S.A.’s presidents.

Mangarakarra Mangarakarra by Kurnti Jimmy Pike

In the last section Kurnti Jimmy Pages’ Mangarakarra Mangarakarra made me wonder if Keith Haring had been influenced by Aboriginal artists as well.