Connecting Spirits

27 AM 901/03

Rosalind Langford Land of The Palawa People 2003


Natural ochres and acrylic on Galacia linen 900 x 1200mm SOLD Painted in residence at Art Mob, Hobart, 5-7 April 2003 Land of the Palawa People painting is the artist's interpretation of the deep spiritual connections that the Tasmanian Aboriginal People (the Palawa people) have to their lands. The painting depicts 2 levels of social organisations of the Aboriginal people: the band and the language (or tribe) of the Tasmanian Aboriginal people. The 3 ochre circles at the centre of the painting are the artist's interpretation of representing Tasmanian 'Land of the Palawa People'. The nine (9) ochre connecting sections depict the 9 language groups (or tribes). The Palawa peoples' land was divided into nine language groups (or tribes) ranging in size. Each tribe had a number of bands - bands are depicted as small ochre circles on the painting. The band was the basic land-holding group with hunting and gathering rights over a particular territory- Territories rich in resources, such as coastlines could support more and larger bands than the poorer inland areas. The bands belonging to each language group (or tribe) regularly met together - to share foods that were plentiful in certain seasons, to hold ceremonies or to arrange marriages. The white geometric designs depict the art of the Tasmanian Aboriginal people (the Palawa people). These designs combine circles, lines and dots to form complex patterns. These symbols of art have been engraved into solid rock (known as petroglyphs) and have a very special spiritual connection to the Palawa people. Like the land these symbols are a continuing connection to the environment and spirituality of the people. The brown dotting is the artist's symbol of people and the green dotting represents land. The ochres used in this painting are natural Tasmanian ochres and are made from ground rock. The artist used a combination of ochre and acrylic on the paint to demonstrate the continuations of culture through the combination of traditional and modern media. Aboriginal culture is not stagnant - it is ever evolving.

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