Leopold Fiala: Painting on Country

Leopold Fiala c/o UPPERORANGE zeigt Bilder, die im Rahmen des Projekts »Painting on Country« entstanden sind, für das fünf Tjungu Palya Künstler in South Australia Kunst auf Stein kreiert haben.

Conception and execution by: Tjungu Palya artists (Marita Baker, Angkaliya Eadie Curtis, Beryl Jimmy, Keith Stevens, Bernard Tjalkuri), Benjamin Bradley and Leopold Fiala. And with great support from Liz Bird and Jorgen Doyle, and the kids from the community.

To give you a brief idea about the concept:
Australian indigenous art is the world’s oldest unbroken tradition of art. The oldest firmly dated rock art painting in Australia is a charcoal drawing on a rock fragment. Dated at 28,000 years, it is one of the oldest known pieces of rock art on earth with a confirmed date. The painting is the indigenous way of passing on important stories from generation to generation. Those stories are always related to a place, usually a sacred place for them. 

We wanted to bring back the opportunity for indigenous artists to revive this most original art form, that is painting on rock. Together with the artists we developed a concept and came up with the idea to give each artist the chance to go back to their homeland and paint there. Each artist was to choose a place and a story related to that specific place. We then traveled there on various bush trips in old 4×4 Landcruisers to find the perfect spot for the painting and the photo. The paintings were done with “tutu” (a natural pigment found in the desert) and have since washed away by the summer rains, but were preserved through the large scale photographs. My part was to help pick the right spot and light situation to integrate the painting in the landscape and thus, create the final artwork that combined the story of the painting with the landscape where the story takes place. The collaboration was done with five great senior artists from Tjungu Palya Arts.

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