Suzanna Clarke reviews Beyond Sacred:
This publication on their collection is a coffee-table book, replete with lush photographic plates and photos of locales where the art was sourced.
Divided into geographical areas on the art of the Central, Western and Northern deserts; the art of the Kimberley and the art of the North (NT), it also has essays detailing the history of how specific styles of art developed, and how certain artists came to prominence.
These include a piece on Paddy Bedford by Tony Oliver (an edited version of the catalogue essay in Bedford’s recent exhibition) and one on Emily Kame Kngwarreye by Christopher Hodges.
However naturally it is the paintings themselves that are the stars of the book.
Flipping through the pages reveals a wealth of colour, line and imagination, from Freddie Timms of Wollongong’s Texas 1997, with its rich fields of colour, to John Mawurndjul’s ochres on bark works, and the delicate dotted lines of Dorothy Napangardi from Alice Springs’ Sand Hills, 2006.
Their aim is to is “to showcase some of the best pictures in our collection as great contemporary art”.