On Wednesday, September 5, 25 AAFSW members and friends enjoyed a fascinating guided tour of “Marking the Infinite: Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia” at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC.
Rebecca Allen, Cultural Program Manager of the Australian Embassy, was a most knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide. She noted the importance of female artists in aboriginal Australian society, and how they had been giving a new vitality to the aboriginal art movement. The paintings and other works of the nine featured women covered a wide range of subjects, from remote celestial bodies and the native bush plum’s flowers to venerable craft traditions and women’s ceremonies. Ms. Allen pointed out how the intricate patterns of one of the artist’s paintings were inspired by basket weaving, a critical skill in native society. She also encouraged us to view the Phillips’ courtyard wall, on which one of the aboriginal women had painted a vibrant mural during a visit to the museum.
After the tour ended, we were encouraged to visit the rest of the museum, which houses great works such as Renoir’s “Luncheon of the Boating Party,” and the Migration Series by Jacob Lawrence.
Many thanks to Rebecca Allen, the Australian Embassy, and to Sheila Switzer for organizing this superb event.