Downwind at Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts (2043 N. Miami Ave., Miami), “The Inspired Dream: Contemporary Aboriginal Art” corrals a dozen artist from Down Under in an exhibit showcasing art inspired by Australia’s indigenous belief systems and the region’s unique creation myths.
Once marginalized by the Western art world, aboriginal art has earned international acclaim over the past four decades, and the gallery is presenting a revealing survey by some of its most talented practitioners. Artists represented include Betty Mbitjana, Walangkura Napanangka, Ningura Napaurrula, Takariya Napaltjari, and Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi.
Many of the works on display make reference to the “Dreamtime,” during which creation is believed to have taken place. The term can be understood as the “timeless time” or a period of formative creating or perpetual creation. The Dreamtime involved the creation ancestors’ travels, still followed today by those who seek traditional wisdom along dream paths leading to important cultural sites all over the country.
Through this fashion, art links Aboriginal people not only to their history but also to the land itself. A new generation of artists is keeping the tradition alive by tapping the distinctive, eye-catching symbols and designs.
One can discover the swirling, abstract dots and dashes in vibrant patterns such as Ngaminya, a large canvas by Napaurrula that appears to depict the cosmic whirl of a nascent universe in rich, monochromatic tarry-black, bone-white, and oxblood-red hues.
The “Dreaming” stories are considered intellectual property among the diverse indigenous Australians and are passed on protectively from generation to generation, especially among those who retain tribal connections.
For example, Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi “owns” the “Seven Sisters” Dreaming, also known as the story of the Pleiades, a tradition she inherited from her maternal line. For those seeking insight into a largely marginalized culture, this is a rare opportunity to do so outside a museum setting. Call 305-576-1804 or visit dlfinearts.com.