THE YUENDUMU DOORS - Art and Dreamings

    THE YUENDUMU DOORS - Art and Dreamings (Brochure)   
    South Australian Museum
    Photo by Yan SUN

Last Thursday, I visited an exhibition (Theme: THE YUENDUMU DOORS - Art and Dreamings)  in the South Australian Museum. It made a deep impression on me. Yuendumu Doors tells the stories associated with each door, and explains the Western Desert painting style. In 1984, senior Warlpiri men painted thirty doors of the local primary school to give their children a record of the Yuendumu 'Dreamings'. Attractively presented and containing full colour plates.  The rich color, comprehension and perfect expression that reflecting the kind side of human soul attracted me deeply.

Ngatijirrikirli (Budgerigar)
Painted by Paddy Japaljarri Stewart
Yuendumu School Door #17
Photo by Yan SUN

This is a very interesting exhitition. It was a way for the elders to signify their approval of going to school, the connections between traditional knowledges and school knowledge and they acted as a warning about the dire consequences of vandalism. They were removed in 1995 in order to safeguard them from deterioration, but also, rumour has it, from being stolen by art thieves... by the 1990s they were immensely valuable.

(From Left) Woman and Snake Dreaming,
Two Men Dreaming,Small Yam and Big Yam Dreaming
Yuendumu School Door
Photo by Yan SUN

"The Yuendumu School Doors"

"In 1983 senior Warlpiri men grasped an historic opportunity to paint their sacred Dreaming designs on the doors of the remote Yuendumu school, 250 km north west of Alice Springs. It was a key moment in the history of Australian art, and it symbolised the Warlpiri's decision to explain the Tjukurrpa (Dreaming) to the world beyond their desert home."

"There were 30 original Doors. Nine are displayed here. Unique documents of history and culture, they not only reveal ancient stories and beliefs, but also the scars and graffiti of exposure to the elements and the schoolyard. "

Presented with the generous support of individual donors to the Yuendumu School Doors appeal and the South Australian Museum Foundation Inc.

(From Left) Milky Way Dreaming,
Honey Ant and Mulga Worm Dreaming,Two Kangaroos Dreaming
Yuendumu School Door
Photo by Yan SUN

Milky Way Dreaming (Detailed)
Painted by Paddy Japaljarri Sims
Yuendumu School Door
Photo by Yan SUN

From the touch screen. I could clearly to understand why the doors, the introduction about the doors, and more information about the artists. The most important is I could see  the explanation  and annotation of each painting doors very distinctly.  From their paintings, I could see that there is one of the earliest examples of Aboriginal artists successfully transferring their ancient ground paintings to a large-scale modern medium.

 Touch Screen
Photo by Yan SUN

Woman and Snake Dreaming (Touch Screen)
Painted by Larry Jungarrayi
Yuendumu School Door
Photo by Yan SUN

Thereinto, the most appeals to me is the door called 'Woman and Snake Dreaming', this painting represented women engaged in decorating themselves for ceremonies. These are dreaming women. Also shown here in this painting are dreaming snakes who stood hidden to the west of where the women were gathered, engaged in their ceremonial activities. The brightly blue color and visual S-shaped profoundly attracted me.

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