The Queensland Art Gallery's Indigenous Australian art collection is an ever expanding & eclectic accumulation of historical & contemporary pieces. Commissioned in 2002 with funds from the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation Grant is a piece I absolutely adore. It's currently on display as part of the Gallery's "Sand-Savanna-Salt" exhibition. Unfortunately my photo below doesn't do the artwork justice. It is truly a beautiful & striking sculpture.
Kuga Muminh/Kuga Uwanh language group
Thap Yongk (Law Poles) 2002-03
Carved milkwood with synthetic polymer paint & natural pigments.
The Thap Yongk (or Law Poles) made by the people of Aurukun in west Cape York express an issue fundamental to Indigenous Australian culture - the interrelationships of land, culture & the creation of time. Representing upturned trees, the Thap Yongk extend from the ground, suggesting branches hidden beneath the earth, with roots at the top. The poles draw the spirits back to the ground, and the 'hidden' branches symbolise the network of stories & laws connecting people to the land & to each other - QAG.
Checking out Indigenous art is a really interesting & fun way to learn more about Indigenous Australian culture. A culture that we certainly could all learn a lot from.
If interested in exploring Indigenous art in Brisbane, then Fire-Works Gallery is THE place to go. They represent a long list of both well-established & emerging Aboriginal artists. They're also a super friendly mob! A bonus! Art galleries & super friendly don't often go hand-in-hand. Or it could just be me. Not that I expect super friendly customer service when visiting art galleries. I'd happily settle for moderately faked-friendly. I shoosh now...