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  • Published: Black Inc.
  • Date: 2023
  • ISBN: 9780645536867
  • Formats: Print

Sun & Shadow: Art of the Spinifex People

Making history visible through one of the most vibrant and distinctive art movements in Australia, this book illuminates the community drive and the individual artistic decisions that have resulted in a body of breathtaking paintings. The Spinifex people have been living on their ancestral homelands in the Great Victoria Desert, Western Australia since time immemorial.

This continuous narrative was interrupted momentously by the Maralinga atomic testing in the mid-20th Century. But after returning to their homelands, Spinifex people began to fight for greater recognition. Painting made their story visible. Over the past 25 years they have developed unique modes of painting to express their communal identity and history. Born of the need to present evidence in Native Title contexts, Spinifex painting has a unique political history and visual tradition that marks it out as a singular art history in Australia – but one that also sheds light on the broader histories of Aboriginal art. The history of the Spinifex people and their unique contribution to Australian art history remains largely unheralded. Featuring stunning reproductions of significant paintings and insightful essays by experts and friends of the artists, this publication positions the Spinifex people as major figures in the Australian historical and art-historical landscape.


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