My Country & Languages of the Earth, 2019
Acrylic on linen
60 x 150 cm
Language of the Earth This is the earth’s story. It is also the story of black and white upon the land and the history we have created and carved into it by our interactions with one another. The intersections of black and white culture and how they meet, creating a narrative in the land and in history, and then moving on in their individual and collaborative journeys are abstractly depicted. These paintings thematically diverge from Sarrita’s elemental inspired series. In an abstract way Sarrita references the iconography of the Tingari creation ancestors with her use of strong rectangles. These are then given body with dots and dashes, similar to Morse code. These symbols of communication are haunting in their familiarly, like an ancient language that was once known but now sits dormant at the back of one’s memory. The overall aesthetic is bold and assertive, and just like much iconography in Aboriginal cultures, the ancient now appears contemporary. My Country – Tracks and Rivers Driven to map the country around Katherine, where her ancestors once walked, Tarisse depicts land formations such as rivers, rock holes, billabongs, shelters, tracks and food sources. In this series, Tarisse visually explores the way her ancestors interacted and lived with the environment. Tarisse composes traditional Aboriginal iconography in sharp white lines, circles, arcs and dots often upon a single colour canvas to create a bold aesthetic that has a foot in the contemporary art aesthetic and the traditional. Song lines that ancestors once walked run across the canvas in different directions, the spaces created by this are filled with concentric circles representing different family clans or ‘life forces’, symbols for food and shelter. Well balanced, the canvas has a graphic look and a contemporary feel, indicative of Tarisse’s ability to make the ancient appear new.
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