Last night, I finally caught the SAM’s special exhibit Ancestral Modern: Australian Aboriginal Art, and I’m really glad I did. “Bush Hen Dreaming, Sandhill Country,” by Abie Loy Kamerre, a swirl of lines that suggest “the bush hen’s search for seeds, plums, and tomatoes” made me want to sweep my hands over it, feel the grains of richly colored sands. “Leaves” by Gloria Tamen Petayarr, a dark background with lush splotches of white displaying incredible movement and life brought on a similar reaction. Actually, more than wanting to run my hands through the leaves, I wanted to bury my face in them, imagining them the texture of lamb’s-ears. And, “Mountain Devil Lizard Dreaming – Winter Storm,” by Kathleen Petayarr, a black canvas dotted gold (applied with a satay stick!) resembled billions of fire flies in the night sky, though a shape taking up nearly one quarter of the painting, somewhat like an outline of an elongated eye or a pea pod, seemed to be a tear in the universe.
All this to say, if you have a chance to see the show this weekend, go, go! It closes this Sunday, September 2, and there are many more wonderful pieces that I can possibly write about here, and, I hope, they will make you as happy as they made me.