New book 'demonstrates impact of art on land rights'

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A new book on Aboriginal art, called 'Power and Colour', shows how important art is for land rights in Australia, its author says.

Aboriginal art isn't just beautiful, pictures often tell stories and pass on knowledge from generation to generation. A new book, called " Power and Colour" shows how important art is for land rights, its author says.

The Corrigan collection of Aboriginal art is the focus of the book Power and Colour. It features 129 works by 76 artists from 25 communities across the country. Professor Larissa Behrendt spoke about the works at its launch in Sydney and Melbourne this week.

"It's such a continuation of a culture that's been here for 40,000 years," she said. "The broader community appreciates the beauty of Aboriginal art and when they get interested in the painting, they learn about the story and they learn about connection to country as well."

The works illustrate how dynamic our culture is through contemporary art... especially in the 40 years since the Papunya Tula art movement began in 1972 . Today's artists use mersmerising colours, new technologies and permanent acrylics to tell their stories. Many of the artists, like Sally Gabori and Tommy Watson started painting in their 70s.

The book's author Jane Raffan says the works show how Aboriginal art has been used as evidence in order to win native title rights.

"Paintings show the incredible arts/law nexus in Aborignal art, -- which is a combination of Aborignal Tjukurrpa and country, and in Aboriginal art and culture Tjukurrpa law -- is invested in country."

The collection featured is currently on display at the SBS offices in Melbourne and Sydney where the book was launched.

Source SBS

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